Labourers to get minimum wages as per new index

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - 22:39

New Delhi: The government has firmed up an
indexing system of minimum wages for various categories of
labour to match the inflation after Congress President Sonia
Gandhi asked Prime Minister Manmohan to ensure that labourers
are paid the minimum wages.

The Rural Development Ministry is soon expected to issue
a notification detailing the payment of minimum wages to
various categories of workers, like industrial labourer or
agricultural labourer, in tune with inflation, sources said
tonight.

The order will be effective from January 1, 2011, they
said.

Gandhi, in her capacity of National Advisory Council
(NAC) Chairperson, had written to Singh, saying that the wages
of labourers should be linked to Consumer Price Index (CPI) to
ensure that they are protected against the inflation, sources
said.

Gandhi had said that the payment of minimum wages by the
states as prescribed under the Minimum Wages Act should be
ensured under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment
Guarantee Act (MNREGA).

In his response, Singh has explained that the Minimum
Wages Act and MNREGA were two separate dispensations,
providing for different wages.

Under the MNREGA, a labourer is entitled to Rs 100 per
day while under the Minimum Wages Act, the minimum wages are
fixed by the states and these wary.

While explaining the situation, the Prime Minister has
noted that proper indexing was being done for various
categories of labour, like industrial and agriculture
labourers, as their consumption baskets are different, the
sources said.

This has since been done and the Rural Development
Ministry is expected to issue a notification in this regard,
they said.

The sources noted that the minimum wage under MNREGA was
fixed as Rs 100 as on January 1, 2009, irrespective of what
the states were paying under Minimum Wages Act. This was more
than what was being paid by the states, they said.

Subsequently some states increased the wages beyond Rs
100, leading to a new situation which was discussed by the
NAC, prompting Gandhi to write to Singh.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - 22:39

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