minimum wage: Expert group responsible for determining minimum wages reconstituted – The Economic Times

lipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/expert-group-responsible-for-determining-minimum-wages-reconstituted/articleshow/86581622.cms?utm_source=ETTopNews&utm_medium=HPTN&utm_campaign=AL1&utm_content=23Synopsis

The idea is to fast-track the work on minimum wages so that employers, including the Centre and state governments, are prepared well in advance to shell out mandatory minimum wages once the Codes are rolled out.

The labour ministry has reconstituted the expert group responsible for determining the national floor level minimum wages under the Code on Wages, replacing the head of the expert panel and adding few members, barely three months after the committee was set up.

The idea is to fast-track the work on minimum wages so that employers, including the Centre and state governments, are prepared well in advance to shell out mandatory minimum wages once the Codes are rolled out.

A top government official told ET that the expert group has been reconstituted and will now be headed by the labour expert SP Mukherjee instead of Ajit Mishra. Further, Arup Mitra of the Institute of Economic Growth and Rupa Chanda of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore have been added as members to the expert group along with a representative from the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship.

A renowned labour expert and meritus professor of Calcutta University, SP Mukherjee had headed several labour related committees and expert groups in the past. He has been responsible for bringing out the revamped Quarterly Employment Survey, released on Monday. Currently, he is spearheading the committee responsible for tabulating data on workers employed with professionals.

The labour code on wages, which was passed by the Parliament in August 2019, has a provision to declare a ‘mandatory national wage floor’, or minimum wage, which states will have to comply with once the Wage Code is implemented.

The expert group is expected to look into international best practices on wages and evolve a scientific criteria and methodology for fixation of wage in the country. The group has been constituted for a period of three years and will continue to provide technical inputs to the ministry going forward.

The expert group is the second committee formed by the labour ministry after the government did not accept the recommendations of the Anoop Satpathy Committee in 2019. The seven-member Satpathy panel had suggested a national minimum wage of Rs 375 per day and a monthly salary of Rs 9,750. In addition to the monthly pay, the panel had also suggested that a housing allowance of Rs 1,430 be provided for city-based workers.

The Economic Survey of 2018-19 had suggested that India needs to have a mandatory national-level minimum wage to promote social justice and curb distress migration. Industry experts and trade unions have been demanding a national minimum wage for years which is expected to benefit a sizable portion of the workforce.

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