Jharkhand: Workers Give Back Their Rs 5 Hike To PM, Saying That The Govt Needs It More Than They Do

The Logical Indian

May 4th, 2016

Image Courtesy: business-standard indianexpress

The government’s decision to hike MGNREGA salary by 5 Rs has been squarely rejected by the rural populace of India. 300 families from Jharkhand have gone on to return Rs 5 they received to the Prime Minister, they have donated their small annual wage increase to prime minister Narendra Modi. The workers attached five rupee notes to a letter addressed to the prime minister that was posted on May Day.

The aggrieved workers chose the ‘May Day’ popularly known as Labour Day in order to make the step loud and clear.

“We feel that you need the extra five rupees more than we do, since your Government has so many expenses. To implement the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission, you will have to spend an additional Rs 1 lakh crore at least on salaries and pensions of Government employees. Defence expenditure is about Rs 2.5 lakh crore. You must also be spending a lot of money on tax concessions for big companies, aside from giving them cheap land and other resources,” reads the mocking communiqué as reported by dailypioneer


So why are people angry about it?

Drought – The meagre salary hike in the backdrop of one of the most severe drought India had faced in recent years has not gone down well with the rural population. Rural India is in deep distress due to the drought, price rise, failure of crops and debts. MGNREGA wages could have softened the blow, however, the 5 Rs hike has only infuriated them.
Minimum Wage – The MGNREGA wages do not match the minimum wages as stipulated in the laws of every state.  A committee headed by economist Mahendra Dev on the revision of rural job scheme wage rates in 2014 had recommended that workers should be paid at least the state minimum wage. The report is yet to be implemented.
MGNREGA is a scheme which has served as a socio-economic booster for rural economy of India.

The Logical Indian requests the government to give high priority to the wages of MNREGA given the hugely distressful time the rural population is in due to drought and debts.

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