To ensure uniform minimum wages across the country, the Centre has hiked the national floor level from ₹137/day to ₹160/day with effect from July 1. Trade unions, however, said the move does not “make sense” as many States, such as Kerala, are already paying a much higher amount.

Meanwhile, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya has written to all the Chief Ministers urging them to take necessary steps to ensure that minimum wage rates of all scheduled employments are not below the national floor of ₹160/day, a Labour Ministry statement said on Tuesday.

“While reviewing the movement of Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) during April 2014 to March 2015, over the period April 2012 to March 2013, it was observed that the average CPI-IW has risen from 215.17 to 250.83,” Dattatreya said, adding that the floor rates have been increased accordingly. The National Floor Level Minimum Wage is fixed by the Centre and requires to be revised from time-to-time on the basis of the rise in CPI-IW. It was last revised from ₹115/day to ₹137/day with effect from July 7, 2013, the Ministry said.

Trade unions, meanwhile, accused the government of ignoring the consensus reached by the 43{+r}{+d} Indian Labour Conference on following a particular pattern for formulation of minimum wages.

“Many States are already paying a higher amount. We have been demanding at least ₹15,000/month, and this comes to only over ₹4,500/month. This does not make any sense,” said Tapan Sen, Rajya Sabha MP and General Secretary, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, adding that trade unions wanted a ‘national minimum wage’, not ‘national floor level’ minimum wage.