Government considering amendments to Minimum Wages Act
New Delhi: The government is considering a proposal to amend the Minimum Wages Act 1948, the Lok Sabha was informed on August 11. "The proposal to amend the Minimum Wages Act 1948 is under consideration," Labour and Employment Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told the Lok Sabha in a written reply. Under the provisions of Minimum Wages Act 1948, both central and state governments are appropriate governments to fix, review and revise mimimum wages of workers employed in the scheduled employment under their respective jurisdiction, Tomar said.
The appropriate governments have been empowered to notify any employment in the schedule where the number of employees is 1,000 or more in a state and fix rates of minimum wages in respect to employees employed therein, he said. The minister said that presently there are 45 scheduled employments under central sphere and the workers employed in various mini cement plants and petroleum products outlets are not included in the scheduled employment of central spehere.
The rates of minimum wages fixed by central government are applicable to establishments under its authority, railways administration, mines, oilfields, major ports and corporations created under Acts of Parliament, he said. In the unskilled section of agriculture sector, rates of wages including Variable Dearness Allowance per day w.e.f April 1, 2014, are Rs 215, Rs 195 and Rs 193 in Area A, Area B and Area C respectively. Similarly for the highly skilled in the same sector, it is Rs 283, 262 and Rs 235 for Areas A, B and C respectively, he said.
Replying to another question, Tomar said that there are 56,90,636 beedi workers in the country as on July 31, 2014, in various states. Under various medical assistance given to the beedi workers for different diseases, 31,74,440 workers benefited from various health schemes in 2013-14. He said that there were 4,96,416 beneficiaries under educational schemes in 2013-14 while the number of beneficiaries under group insurance scheme in the same period was 7,02,320.