Macro Economy

Labour Ministry seeks changes in Minimum Wages Act

PTI New Delhi | Updated on August 15, 2014

With proposals like covering all employments under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 and fixing a statutory nationwide wage floor, Labour Ministry will seek Cabinet’s nod to bring in a slew of amendments in the 66—year old regulation.

The Labour Ministry has already circulated a draft Cabinet note for inter—ministerial discussion and a final note would be placed before the government’s highest decision—making body incorporating relevant feedback soon, official sources said.

“Government has been receiving suggestions from time to time for amendments in the Minimum Wages Act. Therefore, it was felt necessary that a comprehensive review of various provisions under the Act so made and necessary amendments to the Act carried out,” said an official.

The Minimum Wages Act was enacted in 1948. The latest amendment was done in 1986 by incorporating the definition of “adolescent” and “child“.

The Law and Justice Ministry has also proposed to enhance the penal provisions of the Act in respect of the amount of fine and in imprisonment term for non enforcement of the legislation.

A proposal to extend claim period and hike compensation amount payable to the workers is also under consideration, another official said.

The draft note was earlier circulated in January this year to all the ministries for their comments. However, with model code of conduct coming into force due to general elections, it could not be taken forward.

The Cabinet Secretariat issued a directive on May 20 this year for circulating the draft note for inter—ministerial discussion.

There is also a proposal for introduction of the concept of Wage Card and to change in the definition of ‘appropriate government’ so that the enforcement ministry for the Industrial Disputes Act, Contract Labour Act and Minimum Wages Act would be the same and ensure that the provisions under the Minimum Wages Act are better enforced by the appropriate government.

Published on August 15, 2014

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