Union Labour and employment minister Mallikarjun Kharge has written to all Chief Ministers requesting them to revise their wage rates. Talking to All India Radio, Labour and employment Adviser Dr. Vineeta Kumar said that this advisory has been issued in order to have a uniform wage structure and to reduce the disparity in minimum wages across the country. The minimum wage for daily workers was previously revised to 100 rupees from 80 from 1 November 2009.
The enhanced national floor level minimum wage can potentially benefit 20 million workers in sectors such as construction, agriculture and stone breaking. The hike makes the general wage rate consistent with wages paid under the government’s flagship rural jobs scheme, which were revised in January. Wages paid under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme were linked in January to the consumer price index for agricultural labourers for each state. The rural development ministry, which oversees the scheme, estimated this would increase wages by 17-30%.