Cabinet approves minimum wage code bill

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Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a new wage code bill to ensure a minimum wage across all sectors by merging four labour related laws. Over 4 crore employees across the country are expected to benefit from the proposed legislation.

The Labour Code on Wages Bill would amalgamate Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.

The approval for the draft bill was given by the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The bill seeks to empower the Centre to set a minimum wage across all sectors in the country and states will have to maintain that. However, states will be able to provide for higher minimum wage in their jurisdiction than fixed by the central government, sources said.

The bill is likely to be introduced in Parliament during the ongoing monsoon session which will conclude on August 11.

The new minimum wage norms would be applicable for all workers irrespective of their pay. At present, the minimum wages fixed by the Centre and states are applicable to workers getting up to Rs 18,000 pay monthly.

This would ensure a universal minimum wage for all industries and workers, including those getting monthly pay higher than Rs 18,000, according to senior officials.

Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said the ministry has taken steps for drafting four Labour Codes on — Wages; Industrial Relations; Social Security & Welfare and Safety and Working Conditions, respectively.

With PTI Inputs

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