Government to amend minimum wages law: Minister

Government to amend minimum wages law: Minister

Labour and Employment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge Friday said the minimum wages act would be amended to make the minimum wages announced by the centre "statutory for all states and applicable to all jobs".

Kharge told the Rajya Sabha that the government would amend the minimum wages act to prescribe the "national floor-level minimum wages, which will be made statutory for all states and applicable to all jobs".

"At present, the provisions of the minimum wages act are not applicable to those employments where the total number of workers in a state is less than 1,000. After the amendment, the act will be applicable to all employments," Kharge said while responding to a calling attention motion on the recent trade union strike.

The mega-strike Feb 20-21 was called by the country's 11 registered trade unions, demanding the government to control price rise, increase minimum wages and ensure rights of workers along with several other demands.

The minister said the government was also planning to amend the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act.

"The amendments propose that in case where contract labourers perform the same or similar work as the workmen directly appointed by the principal employer, the wage rates, holidays, social security provisions of the contract labourers shall be the same as are available to the directly appointed workmen," the minister said.

When confronted by opposition members, the minister said there were problem in the implementation of labour laws as states were responsible for the same.
"The responsibility to implement labour laws is with the states. We can only guide through central policies," the minister said.