SHRI MADHUSUDAN MISTRY (SABARKANTHA): I want to draw the attention of this House and the Government about the plight of the unorganised labourers in the country. These labourers constitute agricultural labour, who are almost 7.4 millions, forest labourers, who are self-employed; and contract labourers, who are in fact not covered by social legislation. It is very unfortunate that these labourers do not have any remedies when they question their employment, payment of wages and so on and so forth. The minimum wages are low as far as these labourers are concerned. For example, minimum wage for agricultural labourers in a number of States is Rs.50 or Rs.52 or Rs.55 or Rs.56. It is only in some of the States, including your State, Punjab, where the agricultural wages have been higher. But they are being harassed by the authorities and police. They do not have any place to work. They have to migrate to other States. Wherever they go in search of work, they are harassed by police and others. Hence, I would like to draw the attention of the Government and request the Government that it should come out with a very comprehensive law and cover the social security of these labourers. It should also include regulation of their employment conditions, besides, increasing their minimum wages.
The Central Government have already decided to constitute Sixth Pay Commission for the Central Government employees but as far as the minimum wage of these millions and millions of labourers are concerned, a number of State Governments is acting on a very ad hoc basis. Hence, I would request the Central Government to call a meeting of the Labour Ministers’ of the States to at least revise the wages periodically. Not only that, but also to tone up the entire labour machinery to see that these labourers get justice as far as their employment conditions are concerned and their payment of minimum wages are concerned.
MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Shri Lakshman Seth – not present.
उपाध्यक्ष महोदय : मधुसूदन जी, जब आप बोल रहे थे, मैंने इधर से किसी को बोलने नहीं दिया, इसलिए जब इधर से लोग बोलें, तो आप भी नहीं बोलिएगा।