The government has finalised an indexing system of minimum wages for various categories of labour to match the inflation after UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure that labourers are paid the minimum wages.
The rural development ministry is soon expected to issue a notification detailing the payment of minimum wages to various categories of workers, like industrial labourer or agricultural labourer, in tune with inflation. The order will be effective from 1 January 2011.
Earlier, Prime Minister Singh shot down the Sonia Gandhi-headed National Advisory Council's recommendation that the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) workers be paid the minimum wages set by states.
The prime minister, in his 31 December letter to the UPA chairperson, clarified that the wage rate fixed by the central government would be indexed to inflation but not linked to the Minimum Wage Act.
Gandhi, in her capacity of National Advisory Council chairperson, had written to Singh saying that the wages of labourers should be linked to the consumer price index to ensure that they are protected against the inflation, sources said.
She had said that the payment of minimum wages by the states as prescribed under the Minimum Wages Act should be ensured under the NREGA.