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In charts: What is a decent minimum wage in India – and how a new law could change it


Active member
Nithya Subramanian
Aug 17, 2019

In January, a committee of experts appointed by the Labour Ministry recommended that the government set the national minimum wage at Rs 375 per day. This, they said, was the minimum amount required for a worker to meet their family expenditure, preserve their health, and keep them efficient at their jobs.

Seven months later, the government tabled the Code of Wages Bill in Parliament. The Bill stated that the Centre would set a national floor-level minimum wage –
the lowest level of remuneration that an employer can pay a worker by law, irrespective of the nature of the work or the skills of the worker. This would be fixed on the basis of the living conditions of workers and the geographical regions in which they reside and work. But the Bill did not mention a specific figure.

Labour activists have questioned why the government did not accept the Rs 375 benchmark recommendation of its own committee.


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