The government today cleared a proposal to make the minimum wages announced by the Centre for workers in unorganised sector statutory for all states so as to bring parity in wages paid.
At present the national floor level minimum wage is Rs 115 per day but since it is not binding on state governments and employers, the Centre merely advises the states to raise the wages so that they are on par with the national floor level.
The Union Cabinet, which met here today, cleared the proposal to bring in amendment to the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 for incorporating the statutory provision.
Sources said there are as many as 15 states at present are paying workers less than the national floor level minimum wage.
Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Chattishgarh are among the states where the minimum wages paid are less than national floor level minimum wages.
The Labour and Employment Ministry had taken the proposal to the Cabinet as early as in 2009, but because of differences it was referred to a committee of secretaries.
Sources said Agriculture Ministry had reservations about putting in place a legally enforceable minimum wage, arguing that it would be difficult in enforcing it and that it would put additional financial burden on states.
Besides, fears were expressed that higher wage could entice labour away from farming and plantation, where daily wages are low.
The CoS had finally cleared the proposal in August last year following which it was put before the state labour ministers' conference in September.
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