Ahead of poll date announcement, Mamata hikes minimum wages for labourers, offers prayers to Lord Jagannath

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Chief minister of the poll-bound state of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, was seen offering prayers to Lord Jagannath at her Kalighat residence, ahead of the announcements of election dates by the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday.

In a social media post, the official account Mamata Banerjee posted a short clip of the puja rituals which were being performed reportedly by the main priest of the Jagannath Temple in Puri, Jagannath Daitapati.

A press briefing is currently underway at Delhi's Vigyan Bhawan wherein Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora is announcing the schedule for assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala, West Bengal and Puducherry.

The terms of legislative assemblies of four states -- Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala and West Bengal -- are coming to an end in May and June.

Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee on Friday also announced a hike in wages of the daily wage workers an hour before the model code of conduct (MCC) was set to kick in.

The model of code of conduct, which prohibits the state government from making any new policy announcements, will kick in as soon as the poll dates are out.

I am pleased to announce a HIKE in the wages of daily wage workers under WB Urban Employment Scheme:

> To 202 per day from 144 earlier for unskilled labour

> To 303 from 172 earlier for semi-skilled

> 404 for skilled labour (new category introduced)

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— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) February 26, 2021

As per the new WB Urban Employment Scheme, an unskilled labourer in West Bengal will now be paid Rs 202 per day instead of Rs 144.

A semi-skilled worker, who was earlier paid Rs 172 will now get Rs 303 per day. A skilled worker, a new category introduced in the new policy, will be paid Rs 404 per day.

"A total of 56,500 workers (40,500 unskilled, 8000 semi-skilled, 8000 skilled) will benefit from this. These wages are in parity with rural workers’ enhanced pay (MNREGA unskilled & semi-skilled). Budget provision for this step has been made available for both FY21 & FY22," West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said in a tweet.

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