Fixing of national minimum wage further delayed

With the committee set up for the purpose seeing resignations and requiring reshuffling, the implementation of the national minimum wage will be delayed further

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The Centre had put together an expert committee a couple of months back to look into the national minimum wage and come up with a formula to derive the same. However, with two key persons — the chairman and another member — resigning from the committee, the panel had to be reconstituted. This has spread an air of uncertainty with regard to the implementation of the law, which will certainly now be delayed further.

For over two years now, there have been conversations going on around fixing a national minimum wage, which will then be able to keep distress migration in check and be a stepping stone towards ensuring social justice.

Experts and academicians have been demanding a national minimum wage for years and argued that this will benefit a sizeable portion of the workforce. The Economic Survey of 2018-19, too, had advocated that India needs to have a mandatory national-level minimum wage to promote social justice and curb distress migration.

The trade unions have been looking forward to the fixing of a national minimum wage, which is expected to benefit more than 40 crore of Indian workers, who are a part of the 50 crore workers across the country.

Meanwhile, the Gujarat High Court has demanded that the state government respond to the petition from the Gujarat Mazdoor Panchayat, which has complained that the state government has not revised the minimum wage rates since 2014. As per the provisions of the Minimum Wage Act, 1948, the minimum wage needs to be revised by the state government every five years. Failure to do so is like violating the labour laws.

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