In the midst of severe drought, there is some good news for the beneficiaries of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) as the wage rate has been revised with effect from April 1, 2017.
The wage rate has been increased from ₹224 to ₹236 a day. The flagship scheme of the UPA government was launched in 2006–07 and the wage rate then was ₹69 a day.
The revision in the wage rate, indexed to the Consumer Price Index for Agricultural Labourers, will come into effect from April 1 and will prevail for the year 2017–18, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj H.K. Patil told presspersons here on Wednesday.
Under the MGNREGA, ₹2716 crore was spent till February-end, generating 7.64 crore person-days, achieving 76.44% of the target.
Owing to severe drought in the State, the Centre has increased the target of person-days from 6.6 crore to 10 crore in 2016–17. Since it was extremely difficult to execute manual work owing to severe summer, it was decided to provide 25% relaxation in the quantum of work in March, 30% each in April and May, and 20% in June, Mr. Patil said.
Drinking water is being supplied by tankers in 884 villages, most of them located in Malnad and north Karnataka districts.
The State has availed itself of ₹2,937.15 crore aid under the National Rural Development Water Supply Programme and ₹1,930.58 crore had been spent already. A sum of ₹1,006 crore was available with the district administration, Mr. Patil said.