Labour min may censure states for wage gaps, lax enforcement
Union labour minister Mallikarjun Kharge has convened a meeting with state ministers on September 27 to discuss the contentious issues. Top of the minister's agenda, sources said, is the wide divergence of minimum wages among states and the non-compliance by some states even in offering the government-mandated national floor level minimum wage (NFLMW) to workers.
Though states are free to prescribe higher wages, the Minimum Wages Act mandates that workers can't be offered less than the NFLMW. The government has revised the minimum wage floor successively from R35 per day in 1996 to R115 in 2011 to compensate workers for inflation.
At present, the wages offered to unskilled workers in states like Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Orissa and Tripura are lower than R115 per day, whereas they are as high as R270 in Delhi.
Even within a state, the wages vary a lot — R69.00-231.71 per day in Andhra Pradesh, R85.20-353 in Kerala, R88.29-222.35 in Tamil Nadu, R100.00-248.15 in Maharashtra and R98.67-200.77 in Uttaranchal. “Despite persistent efforts by the Centre, various state governments have lagged in revising the minimum wages on a regular basis, set aside uniform wages,” says the agenda paper of the labour ministry.
“It is important to note here that difference in paying capacity has not always been a reason for the wide
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