GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT
STARRED QUESTION NO.48
TO BE ANSWERED ON 06.02.2017
SHRI KUNWAR PUSHPENDRA SINGH CHANDEL:
PROF. RAVINDRA VISHWANATH GAIKWAD
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;
(b)whether minimum wages fixed under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 varies amongst States;
(c)if so, the details thereof, State/UT-wise along with the reasons for differential wages especially on gender basis and also between urban and rural areas;
(d)whether any monitoring mechanism exists to ensure that all the workers are paid minimum wages and not subjected to any form of exploitation; and
(e)if so, the details thereof along with other labour welfare measures being implemented by the Government for betterment of labour force in the country?
MINISTER OF STATE (IC) FOR LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT
(SHRI BANDARU DATTATREYA)
(a) to (e): A statement is laid on the table of the House.
STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO PARTS (a) TO (e) OF THE LOK SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO. 48 FOR 06.02.2017 BY SHRI KUNWAR PUSHPENDRA SINGH CHANDEL AND PROF.RAVINDRA VISHWANATH GAIKWAD REGARDING MINIMUM WAGES.
(a): 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.
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.
(b) & (c): 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. As per the available information, a statement showing the range of rates of minimum wages in all the States/Union Territories is at Annexure.
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. No separate wages are fixed for urban and rural areas.
(d) & (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.
The labour welfare measures recently initiated for betterment of labour force include minimum pension of Rs.1000/-per month to the pensioners under Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS), 1995, portability of provident fund account, National Career Service portal, Employees State Insurance Corporation 2.0(Health Reforms of ESIC), Revision in eligibility and calculation ceiling under the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 etc.