New Delhi: CPI(M) on Wednesday castigated the UPA government for its "unwillingness" to provide minimum wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA).
In a statement, the party "strongly opposes" the reported attempt by the central government to amend MNREGA to provide minimum wages only once.
It said this would absolve the Centre from providing full financial outlays for meeting minimum wage payment and increase the financial burden on state governments for this central programme.
"This unwillingness of the UPA government to provide minimum wages to the poor demonstrates once again the hollowness of its claim of being with the `aam admi`," the party said.
It also demanded that the words `for the first time` be dropped from the proposed amendment to the Act.
Maintaining that it had for long been demanding timely payment of minimum wages and regular price indexation under the MNREGA Scheme, CPI(M) said the All India Kisan Sabha had got an order for payment of minimum wages and arrears from the Karnataka High Court, "which the central government shamelessly opposed through its Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court".