INDIA: Resolution on NREGA Wages 

A workshop on “NREGA: Recent Evidence, Unresolved Issues, Possible Innovations” was held at Allahabad University on 6-7 March 2010. About 50 researchers, administrators and activists who have closely studied NREGA from different perspectives attended this workshop. While a broad range of issues were discussed, and differences emerged in some cases, there was unanimous agreement on the urgent need to frame a coherent wage policy for NREGA, consistent with the law, especially the Minimum Wages Act.

Meanwhile, the current wage rate of Rs 100/day must be immediately indexed to the price level (using the Consumer Price Index for Agricultural Labourers, with 1 April 2009 as the “base”), so that the purchasing power of NREGA wages is not eroded by price increases. In fact, this is long overdue – in his Budget Speech, July 2009, the Finance Minister clearly stated: “We are committed to providing a real wage of Rs 100 a day as an entitlement under the NREGA”. This matter is all the more urgent today in the context of rapid increases in food prices.

1. Abhay Kumar (Navjeevan Mahila Okkoota, Karnataka)
2. Aruna Roy (Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan)
3. Arundhati Dhuru (Advisor to Supreme Court Commissioners, UP)
4. Jean Drèze (Allahabad University)
5. K.H. Rao (National Institute of Rural Development)
6. Kamayani Swamy (Jan Jagran Abhiyan, Bihar)
7. Leelavathi (National Institute of Rural Development)
8. Gangaram Paikra (Chaupal, Chhattisgarh)
9. Manoj Singh (former NREGA Commissioner, Uttar Pradesh)
10. Narasimha Reddy (University of Hyderabad)
11. Nikhil Dey (Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan)
12. Prabhu Ghate (Consultant, NCAER)
13. Pramathesh Ambasta (National Consortium on NREGA)
14. K. Raju (Principal Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh)
15. Reetika Khera (Indian Statistical Institute)
16. Sachin Kumar Jain (Vikas Samvad, Madhya Pradesh)
17. Siddhartha (National Judicial Academy, Bhopal)
18. Sreelatha Menon (Business Standard)
19. Sudha Narayanan (Cornell University)
20. Thi Minh Ngo (School of Oriental and African Studies, London)

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Document Type : Forwarded Statement
Document ID : AHRC-FST-025-2010
Countries : India,
Issues : Labour rights,