In wake of COVID-19, govt hikes MGNREGS wages by Rs 20

New Delhi: March 31
In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, the Department of Rural Development in collaboration with the state governments has increased the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) wages by Rs 20.

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"The Mahatma Gandhi NREGS wages have been revised by the Department of Rural Development, Government of India, with effect from April 1, 2020. The average national increase is Rs 20," the Ministry of Rural Development said.

The focus of Mahatma Gandhi NREGS may be on individual beneficiary-oriented works which directly benefit SCs, STs and women headed households as well as small and marginal farmers and other poor households.

However, close consultation and guidance of the states as well as district authorities would be necessary to ensure that lockdown conditions are not violated and norms of social distancing are scrupulously followed.

The ministry has decided to liquidate the wage and material arrears.

"An amount of Rs 4,431 crore has been released this week to various states and Union Territories to liquidate these liabilities of the current fiscal year," the ministry said.

It also said that the remaining liabilities along with the first tranche for 2020-21 will be released before April 15, 2020.

"An amount of Rs 721 crore has been released to the state government of Andhra Pradesh," it stated.