Wasted labour

Raising minimum wage is no compensation for deeper reforms

The Union government’s decision to raise the minimum wage from Rs 246 a day to Rs 350 a day for unskilled employees may look good at first glance, but it is already evident that this seemingly substantial 43 per cent increase has not achieved the immediate objective of persuading the Left- and the Congress-affiliated trade unions to call off an all-India strike on September 2. This is no surprise since the increase meets only about half the unions’ demand for a minimum wage — Rs 692 a day. Of greater concern is the fact that this increase does little by way of raising the ...