Wages for MGNREGA Mates prioritised


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    • Recently, there have been regular complaints from Mates (site supervisors) that their wages under the MGNREGA are delayed for which the Union Rural Development Ministry has devised a protocol which would prioritise payment to Mates.  


    • Who are Mates?
      • They are the frontline supervisors of the programmes.
      • They are listed as semi-skilled workers because of the specialist nature of their job.
    • Payments under MGNREGA:
      • Wages of unskilled workers are to be paid within 15 days and if there is a delay in payment then the Centre has to compensate them.
    • What is the main issue?
      • Wages of Mates come from the material component of which 60% is paid by the Union government.
      • This component is now being released erratically, caught up in bureaucratic delays and chronic fund crunch.
      • Due to this, Mates have started listing themselves as unskilled workers to get the wages on time.
      • The difference in wages as compared to the unskilled workers is usually minor and they can beat the delay in the payments for semi-skilled workers which can go up to a year.
    • Steps to resolve this issue:
      • The ministry has streamlined the process by which the attendance and wages of the Mates are recorded.
      • The muster roll for Mates must be issued soon after generating muster roll for unskilled workers.
        • A muster roll register is a register that contains the names of all the employees or workers working in a particular unit. 
      • Reports on day-wise pendency in payment to Mates may be generated.
      • States will have to clear the payments for the Mates, before they can distribute the funds to the vendor.
      • Eventually, Mates wages should be completely delinked with the material component.

    Source: TH