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MGNREGA wages raised, Bengal wants more

West Bengal,Business/Economy,Politics, Thu, 29 Mar 2012 IANS

Kolkata, March 29 (IANS) Unhappy with the central government hiking the wage for the 100-day rural job guarantee programme MGNREGA from Rs.130 to Rs.136 in the state, West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress has demanded it be raised to Rs.200 in view of escalating prices.


The Mamata Banerjee-led government says it will approach the central government with the demand to increase Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act wages.


"We will soon move the central government with our demand for increasing the wages of persons working under MGNREGA to Rs.200 from Rs.136," state Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Subrata Mukherjee told IANS.


"I am going to Delhi and shall try to meet (union Rural Development Minister) Jairam Ramesh. I shall then urge him to increase the wages," he stated.


He said New Delhi had Wednesday informed the state government that it had taken a decision to hike wages from Rs.130 to Rs.136. The increased rate will come into effect April 1.


"However, due to the rising prices, the small increase in the wages is inadequate. So we are not dropping our demand for increasing the wages to Rs.200," said Mukherjee.


The state government earlier said it was hopeful of introducing from April this year biometric job cards for beneficiaries of MGNREGA to provide them early payment for working under the project.


Mukherjee claimed the biometric cards for MGNREGA would be the first of its kind in the country.


"The government has already floated tenders for the cards," he had informed.


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