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Labour ministry to soon notify minimum wages; agricultural workers to get 100 per cent jump in daily pay

Economic Times:  October, 2016

New Delhi: Bandaru Dattatreya-led labour ministry will soon notify minimum wages, a move that would benefit all class of workers including agricultural labourers who will see a jump of over 100 per cent jump in daily wages.

The ministry will also move an amendment to Minimum Wage Act to make these minimum wages universal said labour minister Dattatreya.

Currently the minimum wages notified by labour ministry are only advisory to the states.

"The ministry will notify minimum wages on November 1 to enhance minimum wages for all," Dattatreya said on Friday. "Through an amendment to Minimum Wage Act we will make it Universal minimum wage," he added.

According to Dattatreya, the new minimum wages notified will enhance wages of unskilled agricultural labour in C-class towns to Rs 350 per day in the central sphere.

So far there was no minimum wage for agricultural labourers in the country as such the daily wage for this category of workers stood at mere Rs 160 per day.

Centre had on August 1 raised minimum wage of non-agricultural workers by 42 per cent and announced revised bonus for Central employees for two years in a bid to discourage trade unions from going ahead with a proposed strike on September 2. However, the unions went ahead with the strike in the absence of any concrete assurance from the government.

Commenting on the labour reforms kick started by the BJP-led NDA government, Dattatreya said that the key labour reforms proposed are the four labour codes two of which are likely to be laid in Parliament in the coming winter session.

"We have completed tripartite consultation on labour code on wages and code on industrial relations. These are now going to the Cabinet after which they will placed in Parliament in the winter session," he added.

The inter-ministerial committee on labour, headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley, has set up a committee of secretaries to come up with a report on social security for anganwadi workers, asha workers and mid-day meal workers following which the government will finalise its social security cover for them, Dattatreya added.