In a letter to the prime minister, Patnaik also urged for increasing the wage rate fixed under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) for Odisha to Rs 200, the minimum wage for unskilled labourers in Odisha.

The MGNREGA workers presently get Rs 174 per man day. Odisha is facing severe drought situation due to scanty rainfall this monsoon while, as per preliminary report, a drought like situation is prevailing in 139 blocks of the state's total 314 blocks.

To deal with the situation, the Odisha government has decided additional 50 days of work under MGNREGA scheme in drought affected blocks against 150 days of work being provided by central government, Patnaik said.

While the present daily wage rate for unskilled labourers in Odisha fixed by Centre is Rs174, the state government would provide Rs 52 as drought allowance from its own resources totaling Rs 226 to be paid to the workers under the scheme, he said.

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