Eye on elections, govt likely to raise MNREGA workdays to 150 days

NEW DELHI: With the Lok Sabha elections round the corner, the government is planning to raise the workdays under its ambitious rural employment guarantee programme MNREGA from 100 to 150 days per year.
A proposal in this regard will be considered by the Union Cabinet on Friday, sources said here Tuesday.
The populist measure is clearly aimed at wooing the rural voters which comprises about 60 per cent of the country’s population.
Under the MNREGA programme, one member of each rural family is entitled to 100 days of work per year with remuneration of Rs 100 plus amount linked to Consumer Price Index (CPI).
The flagship programme has generated 23,040 lakh persondays of work in 2012-13.
Initially, the remuneration was Rs 100 and it was linked to inflation about two years back after demands that it should be enhanced keeping in view the price rise.
The MNREGA programme was unveiled just before the last Lok Sabha elections, which benefitted Congress electorally.
In the recent years, there have been demands that payments under MNGREGA should be at par with the wages paid under the Minimum Wages Act, which vary from state to state.
The government had made it clear that this could not be done as it would require amendments to the MNREGA Act. However, it linked the remunerations to inflation.—PTI

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