Government today said it is in the process of amending the Minimum Wage Act to address the problems of labour and contract workers and the amended legislation will be taken up by the Union Cabinet soon.
Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya informed Rajya Sabha during Question Hour that it has already prescribed a minimum wage of Rs 10,000 for contract workers and the government was committed towards providing job, wage and social security to workers.
“I am also happy to inform that we are in the process of amending the Minimum Wages Act. Our government is prepared to amend the Minimum Wages Act and has come forward to amend the Act. We are going to have a minimum wage Amendment Act.
“Already, an inter-Ministerial group has already gone into it. It has gone for vetting and after that it will go to the Cabinet and then become a legislation,” he said.
Replying to supplementaries, he said, the NDA government is giving utmost priority to job security, wage security and social security.
On problems of contract workers, he said, “We are totally in direction with the Supreme Court. As per the consumer price index, there are some parameters. We have taken into account those parameters.”
“We have given a notification, which is published, for providing minimum Rs 10,000 per month to contract workers,” he said.
In reply to another question, he said, “our prime concern is job security. I am concentrating on unorganised workers. They have a lot of problems.”
Tapan Sen (CPI-M) alleged that the Minister was seeking to “mislead” the House and alleged that the government is framing only rules to help ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and not taking labour problems as a priority.
“A reply is being given…The House is being sought to be misled. Why it should not be brought in the body of the Act? ….Instead of giving sound bytes…you are making deceiving notes,” he alleged.
In reply to another question about the ESI Hospital in Gurbarga, he said, it is a monumental building that is coming up. Besides medical facilities, a nursing college, a paramedical college and a dental college will also come up in the facility.
The Minister said a total of over Rs 2,000 crore will be spent, of which Rs 1,500 crore have been already spent and the hospital has started in February.
“By June 30 we will complete all remaining infrastructure. The dental college will start in 2016-17. It is very necessary to have medical services as this is a backward area. The process is on to convert it into a super-speciality hospital,” the Minister said.