The Minimum Wages Act was enacted primarily to safeguard the interests of the workers engaged in the unorganized sector. The Act provides for fixation and revision of minimum wages of the workers engaged in the scheduled employments. Under the Act, both central and State Governments are responsible, in respect of scheduled employments within their jurisdictions to fix and revise the minimum wages and enforce payment of minimum wages.

In order to protect the minimum wages against inflation, the Central Government introduced the idea of Variable Dearness Allowance (VDA) based on the recommendation of the Labour Ministers’ Conference held in 1988. Accordingly, the appropriate Governments are required to revise the minimum rates of wages from time to time, twice a year or annually, as may be applicable, taking into account the rise in the Consumer Price Indices for the Industrial Workers. In the Central sphere, the minimum rates of wages are revised effective from 1st April and 1st October every year.

The Union Labour & Employment Minister Shri Mallikarjun Kharge gave this information in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.