Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday demanded increase in the wage rate for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in the state to Rs 381.06, on par with the rate notified by the state for unskilled agricultural worker.
In a letter to Union Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Giriraj Singh, the Chief Minister sought upward revision in the rates notified for labour under the scheme, claiming that the existing rates are too minuscule.
He said lesser wage rate of Rs 303 has been notified for Punjab in comparison to Rs 357 for neighbouring Haryana.
Mann said that he came to know this difference is existing since the inception of the scheme despite the fact that both the states share similar geographic and economic conditions.
The Chief Minister said the state Labour Department’s notified unskilled agricultural labour wage rate of Rs 381.06 is also higher than the MGNREGA wage rate.
He said it reflects that the beneficiaries of this scheme are being denied their rightful dues, which is not acceptable.
Mann also said it is unfortunate that unskilled workers in Haryana get more payment for the same work as compared to Punjab, which is a grave injustice to the state’s work force.