The government has raised the minimum wages under its ambitious job guarantee scheme, the National Employment Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) 17-30%, it said in a statement on Tuesday.
The increase has been based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index for the agricultural labour, it said, adding that the total spend on the project has crossed Rs 1 lakh crore as of December 31 last year.
More than four crore families, about 20% of the population, have been given jobs under the four-year-old scheme in just the first nine months of the current financial year, the Rural Development ministry on Tuesday.
The numbers are substantially higher than the figures given in August of 2009. According to the information given in August 2009, the government had spent Rs 60,350 crore on the scheme during the first three years.
Against the 7.2 crore bank accounts opened as of August 2009, government said it has increased the number to 10 crore by December last year. Currently, there are more than 5 crore ‘live beneficiaries’ under the scheme, the ministry said, a day ahead of a crucial seminar on the project.