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Government Of Assam Labour Welfare

Minimum Wages

The concept of minimum wages first evolved with reference to remuneration of workers in those industries where the level of wages was substantially low as compared to wages for similar type of labours in other industries. The need of legislation for fixation of minimum wages in India received an impetus on account of the necessity of protecting the interest of the demobilized personnel seeking employment in industries. The Minimum Wages Bill having being passed by legislature received its assent on 15th March, 1948 and it came to be known as the MINIMUM WAGES ACT, 1948 thereafter. The Act is available in the Labour & Employment Department website under Document section. The Labour & Employment Department, Govt. of Assam, in consultation with the respective Minimum Wages Advisory Boards & Committees, constituted under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, periodically fixes and revises the rates of minimum wages of various categories of workers/employees such as workers /employees engaged in scheduled employments, plantations, loading & unloading of urea bags, medical representatives & other pharmaceutical industries etc.

Some important provisions for employees under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 & Minimum Wages (Central) Rules, 1950:

  • Fixing of hours for normal working day (Sec. 13, Act)
  • A weekly rest day (Rule 23)
  • Wages to worker who works for less than normal working day (Sec. 15, Act)
  • Penalties against employers for certain offences, like payment to employees/workers less than the minimum wages fixed ( Sec. 22, Act)
  • Payment of undisbursed amounts due ( Sec. 22D, Act)
  • Extra wages for overtime (Rule 25)
  • Minimum time rate wages for piece work( Sec. 17, Act)

The Minimum Wages Act 1948, under Section 4(1) deals with the minimum rates of wages. It provided that any minimum rates of wages fixed or revised by the appropriate Government in respect of scheduled employment under Section 3 may consists of :

  • a basic rate of wages; and
  • a special allowance at a rate to be adjusted at such intervals and in such manner as the appropriate Government may direct to accord as nearly as practicable with the variation in the cost living index number applicable to such workers, hereinafter referred to as the cost of living allowance or
  • a basic rate of wages with or without the cost of living allowance and the cash value of concessions in respect of supplies of essential commodities at concessional rates where so authorized; or
  • an all-inclusive rate allowance for the basic rate the cost of living allowance and the cash value of the concessions if any. The cost of living allowance and the cash value of the concessions in respect of suppliers of essential commodities at concessional rates shall be computed by the competent authority at such intervals and in accordance with such directions as may be specified or given by the appropriate Government.
Minimum Wages