Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 21:
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to increase the wage rate fixed under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) for Odisha to Rs 200 citing the drought situation in the state owing to scanty and erratic rainfall.
Notably, Rs 200 is the minimum wage in the state for unskilled labourers.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Patnaik urged to ensure adequate fund flow under the rural job guarantee scheme to mitigate the drought-like situation and reduce the sufferings of the farmers in the state.
It may be recalled that the state government has recently decided to provide an additional 50 man days of work in drought affected blocks over and above 150 days of work provided by Union government under MGNREGS.
Besides, the state government has also decided to provide 30 percent extra wages as drought allowance to the MGNREGS workers over and above the wage rate fixed by the Centre.
While the present daily wage rate for unskilled labourers in Odisha fixed by Centre is Rs 174, the state government would provide Rs 52 as drought allowance from its own resources taking the total wages to be paid MGNREGS workers to Rs 226.
Patnaik also requested for making provision in the NREGA software to enable the state government to provide the extra incentives to the workers.
As per preliminary report, drought like situation is prevailing in 139 blocks out of 314 blocks of the state.