CASTE-BASED NREGS WAGES PAYMENT
Parliament’s Standing Committee on Rural Development and Panchayati Raj has asked the government to roll back the system of caste-based wages, under which NREGS workers are paid based on whether they belong to a Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, or Others
WHAT IS THE CASTE-BASED PAYMENT SYSTEM?
- Advisory by Rural Development Ministry sent
- States were asked to take necessary action for payment of wages to NREGS workers according to their categories — SC, ST, and Others — from the 2021-22 financial year
- Under the new system
- If 20 individuals (say, six SCs, four STs and 10 others) work together at a site under MG-NREGA, a single muster roll would be issued
- Payment would be done by issuing three separate Fund Transfer Orders (FTOs), one for each of the three categories
WHY IS IT CRITICISED?
- Some beneficiaries started complaining that despite working at the same site and registering on the same muster roll, they were getting their wages at different times depending on their categories
WHAT WAS THE EARLIER SYSTEM OF PAYMENT?
- The Rural Development Ministry notifies wage rates for states and Union Territories under Section 6(1) of The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005
- Until 2020-21, the wages were being paid to NREGS beneficiaries through a single funds transfer order
- If 20 beneficiaries, including SCs, STs and Others work at a site under MGNREGA, all received their wages at the same time, through a single muster roll and a single funds transfer order
WHY WAS THE SYSTEM OF CASTE-BASED WAGE PAYMENT INTRODUCED?
To “accurately reflect on the ground flow of funds to various population groups