The expert committee on minimum wages, headed by statistician and economist SP Mukherjee, has finalised its methodology to calculate the minimum wage based on nutritional requirements and consumption expenditure. The panel will submit its report to the Centre in September.
Mukherjee told BusinessLine that the panel has been meeting every month so that the report could be submitted in September. Mukherjee had favoured the methodology based on multi criteria decision making (MCDM) to fix the amount. This methodology would have also addressed employers’ views while suggesting the minimum wage. But the trade unions and other members of the panel maintained that the methodology should be based on nutritional requirements and consumption expenditures.
Mukherjee said the MCDM model was not getting support from the panel. “We will take the views and suggestions of the industries such as the plantation industry that provide something like accommodation, education and healthcare to children of their workers. We also looked into the integrated steel plants under the Government of India. They also have large quarters to accommodate their workers. They also have schools and hospitals. So, how much concession we can give to such establishments will be worked out. This is in a sense MCDM,” Mukherjee said.
He said as per the agreed methodology, the total monthly consumption expenditure in households, the total intake of calories, level of total expenditure corresponding to the recommended calorie intake in terms of interpolation of the results of the 68th round of NSSO survey on ‘Household Consumer Expenditure’ and ‘Employment and Unemployment’ which was held in 2011-12.
“This survey was conducted roughly a decade ago. So, we have to bring in also the cost of food price index of 2022,” Mukherjee added. The detailed methodology will be approved by the panel in its meeting to be held in Kolkata in June. The framework of the methodology was adopted at a recent meeting of the panel held in Delhi.
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