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Experts group on minimum, national floor wages set up

The expert group on minimum wages and national-floor wages has been reconstituted under economist and statistician SP Mukherjee. Ajit Mishra, who headed the panel, excused himself from discharging his duty on account of his personal and other professional commitments. The Mishra-led committee held four meetings since inception in June this year

The Labour Code on Wages, passed in 2019, gives legislative protection of minimum wages to all workers. Currently, the provisions of Minimum Wages Act apply to workers in scheduled employments including mining, plantations and services. The wage code is meant to ensure the “Right to Sustenance” for every worker and extend the legislative protection of minimum wage to 100% of the country’s workforce from 40% now.

The nine-member new committee will have the same mandate as that of the earlier committee — to give recommendations to the government on minimum wages and national floor wage. It has also been constituted for a term of three years. Principal labour and employment advisor in the ministry of labour and employment DPS Negi is also a member secretary of the new committee.

However, the official said that three-year term does not mean that the committee will submit its recommendations in three years from the date of constitution of the committee. It has been kept at three years so that even after the fixation of minimum wages and national floor wages, government may seek technical inputs from the expert group on subjects related to minimum wages and national floor wages, as and when required.

“The new committee will submit its report at the earliest of the implementation of the wage code. It will then be put up for further necessary action,” he said.

Ahead of the passage of the wage code in August 2019, the labour ministry had set up a similar committee chaired by Prof. Anoop Satpathy. The Satpathy-led panel had in January 2019 suggested a national minimum wage at Rs 375 per day or Rs 9,750 per month irrespective of sectors, skills, occupations and rural-urban locations. It also suggested a monthly housing allowance of Rs 1,430 for city-based workers.

Source: FE