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Monday, November 28, 2016

Minimum Wages Act - LS -- Q & A

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

MINISTRY OF LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT

LOK SABHA

UNSTARRED
QUESTION NO:
2057

ANSWERED ON: 
28.11.2016

Minimum Wages Act
VEENA DEVI

KANWAR SINGH TANWAR
RAJESH KUMAR DIWAKAR
PANKAJ CHOWDHARY
DEVJI MANSINGRAM PATEL
PREM DAS RAI
PRABHAS KUMAR SINGH
CHANDRAKANT BHAURAO KHAIRE
C. MAHENDRAN
BHARATENDRA SINGH

Will the Minister of
LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT
be pleased to state:-


(a)whether the Government proposes to amend the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 and formulate a uniform wage policy for the entire country and if so, the details and salient features thereof and the time by which the said Act is likely to be amended and if not, the reasons therefor;

(b)whether suggestions/ representations have been received from various quarters to amend the said Act and if so, the details thereof and the response of the Government thereto;

(c)whether minimum wages fixed for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 in the country varies amongst States;

(d)if so, the details thereof, sector and State/UT-wise along with the reasons for differential in wages especially on gender basis including agricultural labourers and the corrective steps taken/being taken by the Government in this regard; and

(e)whether any monitoring mechanism exists to ensure that the workers are paid minimum wages and not subjected to any form of exploitation and if so, the details thereof and the other labour welfare measures being implemented by the Government for betterment of labour force in the country.

ANSWER

MINISTER OF STATE (IC) FOR LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT
(SHRI BANDARU DATTATREYA)
(a) & (b): The proposed amendments to the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, inter- alia, includes applicability of minimum wages to all employments, changes in the definition of “Appropriate Government”, fixation/review/revision of minimum rates of wages by the State Government, introduction of National Minimum Wage by the Central Government, enhancement of penalty, etc. Amendment to Labour Laws is an ongoing process and such amendments are made through tripartite consultations.

As a step towards a uniform wage structure, the concept of National Floor Level Minimum Wage (NFLMW) was introduced by the Government in 1996 on a voluntary basis. It is revised from time to time taking into account the increase in the Consumer Price Index Number. NFLMW has been revised to Rs.160/- per day w. e. f. 01.07.2015.

(c) & (d): Under the provisions of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, both Central and State Governments are appropriate Governments to fix, review and revise the minimum wages of the workers employed in the scheduled employment under their respective jurisdictions. As regards minimum wages in States, there is disparity due to variations in socio-economic and agro-climatic conditions, income, prices of essential commodities, paying capacity, productivity and local conditions. However, as per the available information, a statement showing the range of rates of minimum wages in all the States/Union Territories is at Annexure.

Further, the Act does not discriminate on the basis of gender and the female workers are entitled to same wages and other facilities as fixed by the Central Government for the workers engaged in the scheduled employments.

(e): The implementation of the Act is carried out by the Centre as well as the States in respect of their respective jurisdiction. In the Central Sphere, the enforcement is secured through the Inspecting Officers of the Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) commonly designated as Central Industrial Relations Machinery (CIRM), the compliance in the State sphere is ensured through the State Enforcement Machinery. They conduct regular inspections and in the event of detection of any case of non-payment or under-payment of minimum wages, they advise the employers to make payment of the shortfall of wages. In case of non-compliance, penal provisions against the defaulting employers are invoked.

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