ILO report flags wage inequality in India

ILO report flags wage inequality in India

News:

  1. According to the International LabourOrganisation, real average daily wages in India almost doubled in the first two decades after economic reforms, but low pay and wage inequality remains a major concern.

Important facts:

2. Key highlights of the International LabourOrganisation:

  • In 2009-10, a third of all of wage workers were paid less than the national minimum wage.That includes 41% of all casual workers and 15% of salaried workers.
  • In 2011-12, the average wage in India was about ₹247 rupees a day, almost double the 1993-94 figure of ₹
  • However, averagelabour productivity (as measured by GDP per worker) increased more rapidly than real average wages.
  • India’s labour share — or the proportion of national income which goes into labour compensation, as opposed to capital or landowners — has declined.
  • The rise in average wages was more rapid in rural areas, and for casual workers.
  • The average wage of casual workers — who make 62% of the earning population — was only ₹143 a day.
  • Daily wages in urban areas (₹384) also remain more than twice as high as those in rural areas (₹175).
  • Regional disparities in average wages have actually increased over time, with wages rising more rapidly in high-wage States than in low-wage ones.
  • The gender wage gap decreased from 48% in 1993-94 to 34% in 2011-12, but still remains high by international standards.
  • For all worker groups, the average wages of casual rural female workers was the lowest, at just ₹104 a day.
  • State-specific and comparative studies on wages are needed, said the ILO, urging collaborative work between government agencies, academic institutions and expert organisations

3. Suggestions:

  • Stronger implementation of minimum wage laws.
  • Strengthening of the framework for collective bargaining by workers.
  • This is essential to combat persistent low pay in some sectors and to bridge the wage gaps between rural and urban, male and female, and regular and casual workers.
  • State-specific and comparative studies on wages are needed.
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