New Delhi: The Election Commission is likely to approve a Rural Development Ministry request to revise the wages under MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) from April 1, the beginning of the new financial year. Sources said that crores of beneficiaries across the country would be benefited, if the request is approved.

The increase in wages is expected to be different as different states have different wage rates. However, it may remain flat in some states, while the increase could be up to 5 per cent over and above the current wage in others.

MGNREGA, a rural job guarantee scheme introduced in 2005, now covers all the rural districts of the country.
The main objective of the scheme involves providing up to 100 days of unskilled manual work in a financial year to every household in rural areas as per demand, resulting in creation of productive assets.

Notably, the ministry (Rural Development Ministry) had approached the EC for approval as the model code is in force. Speaking to PTI, sources in the poll panel said the government would be specifically asked against publicising the hike.

In this year’s interim budget, the government had proposed to allocate Rs 60,000 crore for rural employment scheme under MGNREGA for the year 2019-20. The amount allocated for 2019-20 is 11 per cent higher compared to Rs 55,000 crore for 2018-19. The revised estimate for the year 2018-19 was Rs 61,084.09 crore.

(With agency inputs)