Government hikes minimum wage for agriculture labourer
Bandaru Dattatreya-led labour ministry has nearly doubled the minimum wage for agriculture labourer including those hired on contract, barely six months after a significant increase in minimum wages for non-agricultural labourer. Centre had on August 1 last year raised minimum wage of non-agricultural workers by 42%.
According to a labour ministry notification, an unskilled agriculture laborer would be entitled to get a minimum wage of Rs 300 per day in C-category towns as against Rs 160 now while those in B and A category towns will get Rs 303 and Rs 333 respectively.
Like-wise semi-skilled workers will be entitled to a daily minimum wage of Rs 364, Rs 335 and Rs 307 in A, B and C-category towns while the skilled workers will be paid as high as Rs 395, Rs 364 and Rs 334 under the three town categories respectively. Highly skilled workers will get Rs 438, Rs 407 and Rs 364 in A, B and C-category towns.
Besides, the wage rates prescribed by state government, if higher than this, would prevail over the central government notified rates. "Where in any area the minimum rates of wages fixed by this notification are lower than the minimum rates of wages fixed by the state government for the employees of the aforesaid employments in relation to which the state government is the appropriate government, the rates of wages fixed by the state government shall in respect of these areas, be deemed to be the minimum rates of wages payable under this notification," it said.
The notification further said, "the minimum rates of wages include wages for weekly day of rest and are applicable to employees engaged by contractors also."
A–category states includes 17 big towns including metro cities while the remaining towns have been categorized under B-category while C-category towns include areas to which the Minimum Wage Act, 1948 is applicable.
Besides, the ministry has also notified minimum wages for mine workers in all categories and in this case also the minimum wages notified by state governments, if higher than the central wages, would prevail.
Henceforth, unskilled mine workers would get Rs 350 and Rs 437 per day for above ground and underground work while skilled workers will get Rs 436 and Rs 523 respectively and the skilled workers would be entitled to daily wage of Rs 523 and Rs 610.