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Big News! Government to Revise Wage Computation for Rural & Agri Workers

Centre to revise wage computation for rural, agricultural workers.

Chintu Das
Agri Workers
Agri Workers

The Union Ministry of Labour has agreed to revise India's wage calculation for its workforce. In its most recent calculations, the Ministry has decided to modify the Consumer Price Index for Agriculture Laborers and Rural Workers (CPI-AL&RW) base year to 2019. The current base year is 1986-87. 

The move, according to a senior Labour Ministry official, would benefit workers because their pay will likely grow. 

Wages under the MGNREGA may also be adjusted depending on the new base year. 

The Consumer Price Index (Industrial Workers) base year was previously changed by the Centre from 2001 to 2016. The Ministry has also agreed to alter the Wage Rate Index's base year from 1963 to 2016 in order to recalculate the floor minimum pay for workers in various categories. According to reports, the Rural Development Ministry has been lobbying the Union Labour Ministry to modify the base year. 

Will Be Announced In November 

The modification in the base years of the CPI-AL&RW and Wage Rate Index will be published in November, according to a Labour Ministry official. "Changing the base year took approximately six years for the Ministry and the Labour Bureau," the official noted. The CPI-AL&RW is based on consumer expenditure data obtained during the 38th round of the National Sample Survey's Consumer Expenditure Survey in 1983. 

It defines a rural labour family as "one that obtains its principal income from wage-paid manual labor (rural labour) for the previous 365 days, as opposed to wage-paid non-manual work and self-employment." 

Examine the Trend of Consumption 

Unions, on the other hand, have pushed the government to take a serious look at the consumption trend. 

"When amending the base year, the Centre will have to take into account the growth in the price of necessary food items. The Centre tries to hide the reality that half of the agriculture labourers who were eating two meals a day are now eating one meal a day and 37% of agriculture workers cannot subsist without even one day's work," said Suneet Chopra, chief of the All India Agriculture Workers Union. Chopra claims that his union has demanded that salaries be calculated based on a daily calorie consumption of at least 2,200

"Even 1,000 calories aren't taken into account by the Center. India has the world's greatest population of hungry people. It is the country with the greatest public food grain stockpiles, which it does not distribute. "The consumption data are being kept hidden by the Centre," he asserted. 

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