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Women paid less than men, says Centre panel: MGNREGA Scheme

Women, employed under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme across the country, get only 78 per cent of the minimum wages paid to men, according to Indian Express report. The Ministry of Rural Development panel report said that not a single state has been able to enforce the payment of full minimum agricultural wages to its women workers. This comes after the panel had recently recommended that there was no need to bring MGNREGA wages on a par with minimum wages. It has been learnt that West Bengal, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh and Assam had done better but the ratio of women to men wages is only marginally higher than the national average, the report says.

 On May 17, the central government had said it has paid 89 per cent of wages to workers under the MGNREGA scheme within 15 days of the work done. Timely payment of wages under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has been a major concern for government from some time. Union Rural Development Ministry in partnership with the state government has been trying to ensure timely payment of wages to the MGNREGA workers. “In the current financial year, 20.88 crore person days of work has been generated so far. 89.08 per cent of wage payments have been made within 15 days of work done,” Rural Development Ministry said in a statement, as per PTI report.

22 states including Puducherry received wage payment directly through National Electronic Fund Management System. The Centre along with states is working on direct transfer of wages into the bank accounts of the workers. Over 85 per cent of active MGNREGA workers have their Aadhaar details seeded with their consent and 4.85 crores workers are already on the Aadhaar payment bridge linked Bank accounts, the statement added. The thrust of the MGNREGA is on water conservation and sates have adopted mission water conservation guidelines to focus on 2,264 water stressed and irrigation deficient blocks of the country, the report says.

Source: Financial Express

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