According to our constitution minimum wage is the income which guarantees bare subsistence and also provides for educational,medical and some level of comfort. The fixation of minimum wage should consider following things:
It should cover 2700 calories requirement of husband, wife and two children.Clothing requirement of 72 yards annually, rent for minimum area as specified by Government Industrial’s housing scheme. 20% of it should go for educational, fuel and other miscellaneous consumption.
The minimum wage is fixed by state because of differences in consumption practices of people in different regions of India. Also it depends on the type of industry and labour skill. For ex: in Andaman and Nicobar it is around 322/- per day, while in uttar pradesh it is around 253/- per day for skilled labour. So any industry in which labour workforce is greater than 1000 should have to pay minimum wage corresponding to it’s region.
Let us look what this minimum wage tell us about condition in India. Poverty line income in India is 29 rs per day. If a person earns below 29 rs then he is below poverty line but to live a basic standard life he needs to have roughly 200 rs per day according to minimum wage act.And in his minimum wage he has to fulfill all his family needs too. So how a poor will manage to cover up the remaining 171 rs. So our government itself proves it’s incompetency in providing basic standard of living. In fact, the famous MGNREGA scheme gives 120/- per day, which is also below minimum wage in many state.
Many industry in India have number of employee less than 1000, under this scheme such employees are not covered.In fact many small scale industry in villages employee a small number of people, so no protection for them.
Many state updates the minimum wage after 5 years. I don’t see any rational behind such rule , when we have such a high inflation rate and prices of commodities are increasing everyday why don’t every state update it at least every six month.
What add to these ailing policies is illiteracy and lack of awareness among citizen. People are not even able to take benefit of whatever small amount they are getting from government, because they just don’t know. Many times risk of loosing job doesn’t let them raise their voice against their exploitation.
India is a socialist country and it definitely has policies on paper which can prove how much our government care for it’s citizen. We have Indira Awaas Yojna(housing scheme for rural people), Sampoorna Grammeen Rozgar Yojana, PDS system , Direct cash transfer , free laptop, free cycle and what not. But what lacks is the proper implementation. Unless proper planning for implementation of such policies are not made I really doubt our situation will change even after spending crores of dollar under such scheme.