In a state cabinet meet held today in the headship of the Chief Minister Narendra Modi the state government has decided to increase daily minimum wages by 25 per cent for the farm-workers.
Giving details of the decision Gujarat government spokespersons Mr. Nitinbhai Patel and Mr. Saurabhbhai Patel said, ‘‘In accordance with its pro-people approach to ease the burden of the farm-workers in the current heavy price-rise situation, the minimum daily wages for farm-workers has been increased to Rs 150 from Rs 120, which is even more than the existing minimum daily wage rates of Rs 137 fixed by the Central Government.’’
The spokespersons said that there are around 72 lakhs farm-workers in Gujarat, and from now on each of them will receive Rs 150 per day instead of Rs 120, a direct increase of Rs. 30 in their minimum wage rates. This amounts to annual economic benefits of Rs 3370 to 5000 crores to the farm-workers.
The spokespersons said, ‘‘the state government has increased minimum daily wage for the farm-workers in Gujarat which is even more than what the national minimum daily wage rate of Rs 137 fixed by the Center during last July-2013. Thus, the state has shown a new path to the nation with an approach of welfare of farm-workers, providing them economic protection for their needy families amid hard times of heavy price-rise.’’
Ministers Nitin Patel and Saurabh Patel added that according to the provisions under Minimum Wages Act, amendments in such wages are usaully done after five years and the Government had decided minimum wage rate of Rs 120 during last March 2012. But owing to the far-sighted vision of the Chief Minister Narendra Modi, for the upliftment of the economically backward farmworkers and to provide economic protection for their needy families amid hard times of heavy price-rise, the state government, even in the shortest period of time, reconsidered the minimum wage rate and finally made historical decision to increase Rs 30 which is a huge hike of about 25 per cent, the spokespersons said.