Govt to revise minimum wage of workers

- SANJEEV GIRI, Kathmandu
The revision is in line with the Labour Act-2017 which says that minimum wages of workers should be revised every two years.

May 2, 2018-The government is set to revise the minimum wage of workers. The revision is in line with the Labour Act-2017 which says that minimum wages of workers should be revised every two years. The new pay scale is said to come into effect from the first month of the new fiscal year.

Hinting at the preparations for increasing the wages, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, in his congratulatory message on the occasion of International Workers’ Day, reiterated the government’s firm commitment to fully implementing the Labour Act.

“A large number of youths are compelled to head out of the country and subjected to exploitation due to the lack of appropriate working environment in the country. The government remains sensitive towards the plight of Nepali youths forced to risk their lives in an unknown foreign land and engage in hard labour,” the message reads.

If stakeholders—the government, the private sector and trade union officials—fail to fix the minimum wage unanimously, says the Labour Act, the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security can unilaterally fix new rates. The Act further states that the revised wages are implemented from the first month of the fiscal year unless there is another agreement between the employer and the employee.

Since the Labour Act requires wage revision every two years, the government should abide by it, said Bishnu Rimal, immediate past president of the General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (Gefont). “Apart from increasing the minimum wage, the government should also play a proactive role in effectively implementing other provisions mentioned in the Act for the betterment of workers,” said the chief advisor to the PM.

The government last revised the minimum wage for workers in February 2016 to Rs9,700 per month and Rs395 per day. Trade union members have demanded that the amount be increased by at least Rs5,000 to ensure security of workers.

Rimal said the government should ensure that the monthly minimum wage hovers around Rs15,000. “If this happens we can bring down the rate of mass exodus of youths to foreign soil seeking employment opportunities.

Considerations like overtime and other benefits will ensure a decent earning within the country if the minimum wage is set at Rs15,000.” He added that a “strong” government led by Oli should seek wage-led growth.Chandra Dhakal, chairman of Employers’ Council of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said the private sector was positive about increasing the minimum wage based on relative valuation. “There should be no hesitation in revising the wages based on the current time and situation,” said Dhakal. The private sector leader hinted that they are positive about the increment of around Rs5,000, as quoted by the trade unions.

We’re committed to ILO principles, treaties: PM

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has extended best wishes for happiness, peace, prosperity to all Nepali workers spread around the globe on the occasion of the International Workers’ Day.

In his May Day message on Tuesday, PM said the dignified day of workers every year reminds us of the important achievements of the international workers’ agitation—eight hours of work, eight hours of rest and eight hours of entertainment along with the fundamental rights.

Stating that workers have played a historic role in all of Nepal’s socio-political transformation without caring for their lives and employment, PM Oli expressed his high respect to the contributions made by the working class for the epochal change in Nepal’s politics.

The PM took the occasion to reiterate the government’s firm commitment to fully implementing Labour Act-2074 (2017) and disclosed preparations for minimal wage increment to guarantee disciplined work under an appropriate wage system.

Oli noted that a large number of youths have been compelled to leave the country and subject to labour exploitations due to lack of appropriate environment in the destination countries. He added the government remains sensitive towards the plight of the Nepali youths forced to risk their lives in an unknown foreign land and engage in hard labour.

The government is now focused on creating an environment for using the young human resources’ knowledge, skills and energy for nation building and development of the country, Oli said. He expressed the government’s determination to create opportunities for gainful employment to allow workers to work with self respect at home.

Underlining the constitutional provisions granting right to every worker to undertake their respective work, suitable allowance, social security rights based on facilities and contribution, permission to open trade unions as per the law, participation in such unions and right to collective bargaining, PM Oli said the government is committed to complying with the ILO’s fundamental principles and treaties.


Published: 02-05-2018 08:35

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