bonded labour, awareness generation activities, and evaluatory studies. The Rehabilitation grant
has also been raised from ₹ 10,000/- per identified bonded labour, to ₹ 20,000/- per identified
bonded labour. Further, in the case of North-Eastern states, cent per cent rehabilitation grant is
provided in case they fail to provide their matching contribution.
Wages and Bonus
The Minimum Wages Act, 1948
The Minimum Wages Act, 1948 was enacted to safeguard the interests of the workers
mostly in the unorganised sector. Under the provision of the Act, both the Central and state
governments are the appropriate governments to fix, revise, review and enforce the payment of
minimum wages to workers in respect of scheduled employments under their respective
jurisdictions. There are 45 scheduled employments in the Central and as many as 1697 in the
state sphere. The enforcement of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 is ensured at two levels. While
in the Central sphere, the enforcement is done through the inspecting officers of the Chief
Labour Commissioner (Central) commonly designated a Central Industrial Relations Machinery
(CIRM), the compliance in the state is ensured through the state enforcement machinery.
In order to protect the minimum wages against inflation, the Central Government has
introduced Variable Dearness Allowance (VDA) linked to Consumer Price Index. As regards
states UT administrations, 27 of them have made VDA as a component of minimum wages. Both
Central and state governments are revising the minimum wages in respect of these scheduled
employments from time to time.
In order to have a uniform wage structure and to reduce the disparity in minimum wages
across the country, a concept of National Floor Level Minimum Wage (NFLMW) was mooted
on the basis of the recommendations of the National Commission on Rural Labour (NCRL) in
1991. NFLMW has been revised from time to time. The Central Government has revised the
NFLMW from ₹ 137/- to ₹ 160/- per day from 2015. It, however, needs to be noted that the
National Floor Level Minimum Wage, is a non-statutory measure.
Payment of Wages
The Payment of Wages Act, 1936 ensures timely payment of wages and that no
unauthorised deductions are made from the wages of the workers. In exercise of the powers
conferred by sub-section (6) of Section 1 of the Act, the Central Government, on the basis of
figures of the Consumer Expenditure Survey published by National Sample Survey Office, has
enhanced the wage ceiling from ₹ 10,000/- to ₹ 18,000/- per month from 2012.
Payment of Wages (Amendment) Act, 2017:- Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936
was amended 2017 to enable making payment of wages in cash or by cheque or by crediting in
the bank account of the employee. The amendment also enables the appropriate government
may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify the industrial or other establishment, the
employer of which shall pay to every person employed in such industrial or other establishment,
the wages only by cheque or by crediting the wages in the bank account.
Payment of Bonus
The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 has been amended to revise the statutory eligibility limit
under Section 2 (13) from ₹ 10,000/- to ₹ 21,000/- per month and the calculation ceiling under