Berhampur, November 11 (LocalWire): The locals and elected members of the Panchayati Raj department here have urged the Ministry of Rural Development officials to increase the minimum wage under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and bring it at par with that fixed by the state government.
The state government had increased its minimum wage to Rs 280 and Rs 320 per day for unskilled and semi-skilled labourers, respectively, last year, while the daily minimum wage under MGNREGA is only Rs 188.
The rate of wage under MGNREGA varies from state to state mainly because of topographic reasons, sources said.
“Labourers are not showing any interest in taking up MGNREGA work due to low wages. There is an urgent need to increase the minimum wage under MGNREGA, which is a labour-intensive scheme,” a member of local Zila Parishad Brundaban Khatei said.
The panchayat members put forth their demands before the two senior officers of the ministry, who had visited the district recently.
The two-member team including, NR Bhanumurthy and Girija Prasad Gupta had visited different areas to review the implantation of various government schemes and held discussion with the locals and the district administration, which stressed on timely release of funds under different schemes for proper implementation of the programmes.
According to sources, the team was satisfied with the steps taken by the local administration for development, including installation of the toll-free number to address the grievances of the people and launching of Vikas Rath, a chariot to educate the people on different programmes.
These initiatives were implemented through the District Rural Development Agency.