Panel moots minimum wage of Rs. 375 per day

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  1. An Expert Committee on Determining the Methodology for Fixation of the National Minimum Wage, headed by Anoop Satpathy, has recommended setting the minimum wage at Rs 375 a day or Rs. 9,750 per month. The minimum wage has been fixed irrespective of sectors, skills, occupations and rural-urban locations for a family.
  2. The committee has proposed a “balanced diet approach” to determine minimum wages. It has recommended that 2,400 calories of food, along with a minimum of 50 gm of protein and 30 gm of fat every day/person should constitute a national level balanced food basket
  3. It has also proposed that the minimum wage should include reasonable expenditure on essential non-food items such as clothing, fuel and light, house rent, education, medical expenses, footwear and transport.
  4. It has recommended setting the national minimum wage for five different regions based on local socio-economic and labour market factors. Further, it suggested an additional house rent allowance for urban workers.
  5. The committee has also recommended reviewing the consumption basket every 5 years. It has suggested that basic minimum wage should be revised in line with the consumer price index (CPI) every 6 months.
  6. At present Minimum Wages Act, 1948 specifies the minimum wages that must be paid to skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled labours. There is no national minimum wage and wages vary across states. Each state prescribes minimum wages for different occupations based on guidelines by the Indian Labour Conference in 1957 and the Supreme Court Judgment of Workmen v Reptakos Brett & Co., 1992.
  7. The recommendations of the committee is in line the Code on Wages Bill 2017. The code had proposed minimum wages to all employees irrespective of the sector of employment and statutory National Minimum Wage for different geographical areas.