Code on Wages Bill: Govt’s wage move to benefit 50 crore workers

Pune: Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar asserted that the new Code on Wages was an important step for workers, employers, and state governments and it will benefit about 50 crore workers in the country.

The Code on Wages Bill, 2019 — which seeks to amend and consolidate the laws relating to wages, bonus, and matters connected therewith — was passed in the Rajya Sabha with 85 members in favor and 8 against.
It was passed in the Lok Sabha on 30 July.

“It was decided during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime that since there were several acts pertaining to labor, it should be subsumed so in 2002, suggestions had come that there should be four to five codes,” Gangwar said here.

He added that unfortunately, the government changed and for ten years, no progress had happened on that part.

“But in 2014, when the Modi government came into power, the issue once again came to the fore and the entire process picked up the steam,” said Gangwar.

He added that the government has decided that there has to be a floor minimum wage for the workers.

“It was decided that the Centre will decide on the floor minimum wage and on that basis, the State governments will decide and fix the minimum wage but it will not be below the floor minimum wage fixed by the center,” he said.

It was an important step for the workers, employers and State governments as approximately 50 crore workers including 40 crores from unorganized sectors across the country will be benefited due to the bill, the Minister said, adding that the new code will fix the anomalies in the labour wages.

He also added that the bill has ensured that there will not be any discrimination between male and female in getting wages.

“Since the draft will be discussed and deliberated in the parliament, we seek recommendations and suggestions on the bill from the industry,” he said.