Central government might announce a 8% to 10% increase in average wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Act (MGNREGA). This Rise in MGNREGS Average Wages rates would be done by linking these to an updated inflation index, the revamped consumer price index – agriculture labour (CPI-AL). Now people can check the MGNREGA Wage Rate 2020-21 as the scheme is likely to get Rs. 10,000 cr push.
In order to boost rural income, the central government could raise the total MGNREGA Budget for 2020-21 to Rs. 70,000 crore. Previously in 2019-20 (FY20), the budget allocation for MGNREGA scheme was Rs. 60,000 crore. The increase in MGNREGA Wage Rate 2020 is a part of the govt. plan to consolidate existing welfare schemes for farmers such as PM-KISAN and MGNREGA.
The central govt. has decided to go for consolidation as it is reeling from dwindling resources.
MGNREGA Wage Rate 2020 to Rise by 10% in Next Budget
For agriculture activities, central govt. plans to provide thrust on expanding the network of cold storages and warehouses. This would be done by providing them with some tax incentives or easy credit facilities. There could also be incentives to farmers to diversify from rice and wheat to more profitable crops. As per the official reports, the central govt. will now allocate Rs. 10,000 crore more money for MGNREGA (Rs. 70,000 cr in Union Budget 2020-21 as compared to Rs. 60,000 in previous budget). The MGNREGA Wage Rate will get risen by 8 to 10% per month with this increased allocation.
Ministry of Rural Development has sought an extra Rs. 20,000 crore for MGNREGA Scheme. Currently, the national average wage of an MGNREGA worker is Rs. 178.44 per day which is less than the minimum agriculture wage rate in several states. After several rounds of discussions with industry experts, agriculturists and economists, a consensus seems to be building on enhancing the allocation. This is done to expedite setting up of 22,000 rural markets under the Gramin Agricultural Programme (GrAM) launched in FY 2018.
The programme is financed through a Rs. 2,000 crore dedicated agriculture infrastructure fund created in NABARD. However, the allocated money has been found to be inadequate to finance such a large programme. A separate budgetary allocation is required to kickstart the scheme. This is because the current model of a dedicated fund has not exactly yielded desired results. Besides GrAM scheme, some fund allocation is also expected for the Electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM) scheme.
Under e-NAM initiative, the central govt. plans to link 1,000 markets through a common pan-Indian electronic trading portal. Till date, more than 500 mandis or APMC markets are trading online under eNAM. There was also a proposal to create dedicated fund for agriculture start-ups in order to ensure proper ecosystem to grow and develop. Furthermore, there is requirement of attracting more private funds in the agriculture sector for which specific steps should be taken.