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Central Advisory Board to kick-start work on national floor level minimum wage

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The labour ministry has notified rules governing the constitution and functions of the central advisory board under the Code on Wages, paving way for the government to kick-start work on the national floor level minimum wage for the country.

The Code on Wages prescribes for a statutory floor level minimum wage for the country. The intent is to roll out the four labour codes from April 1 this year and hence the need for determining the minimum floor wage at the earliest

The national floor level minimum wage, to be determined by the Board, would mean that no states can have their minimum wage less than the floor wage. The current floor wage is only advisory as a result of which in certain states minimum wages are less than floor wage which is pegged at Rs 176 per day.

The Central Advisory Board will fix the minimum wages and revise it from time to time while addressing other connected matters. It will also be responsible for providing enhanced employment opportunities for women, determining the extent to which women may be employed in such establishments and any other matter relating to this Code.

The Board, to be headed by the labour minister, will comprise of 12 government nominated representatives of the employers and employees each, independent persons, not exceeding one-third of the total members of the Board and five representatives of such state governments as may be nominated by the Central Government.

The independent persons of the Board will comprise a labour secretary, two members of parliament, four members each of whom shall be a professional in the field of wages and labour related issues and one member who is or has been a presiding officer of an Industrial Tribunal constituted by the central government. Besides, there will be two members, each of whom shall be the chairperson of such a state advisory board, to the extent possible, to be taken in rotation from the states.

The earlier panel set on national floor level minimum wage in 2018 had suggested a single value of the national minimum wage for India of Rs 375 per day. It had also suggested a minimum monthly wage of Rs 9,750 and a housing allowance of Rs 1,430 for city-based workers. However, this was too high compared to the existing rate and hence has not been accepted by the government till date.



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