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Unmonitored, labour costs in Dimapur skyrockets

Everything comes for a price, more so with manual labour. Blame it on inflationary trends in the market or an utter lack of monitoring mechanism, labour costs are skyrocketing in Dimapur. And the sector feeling the most pinch is, not surprisingly, the construction business. At present, a day’s worth of work of a labourer costs anywhere between Rs. 200-Rs. 400, which is way above the prescribed rate.

Broadly classified into three categories – skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled – general labour (or manual labourers) are paid according to the category they fall in or depending on the level of skill. According to the prevailing rate fixed by the department of Labour as sanctioned in ‘The Minimum Rate & Wages Act, 1948’, it is Rs. 130, 110 and 100, respectively for the state of Nagaland. Fixed about two years ago as ‘Revised Rate of Wages - 2010’, this existing provision is only on paper though; and will stand so till the next review.

The rate prepared by the government, it appears, found no takers and rightly so, taking into consideration the ever rising price of anything essential and the corresponding argument of daily wage earners, or ‘hajirawallahs’ (sic) in the local terminology. The municipal authorities in Dimapur had no option but to go over the government rate. Consequently, in February of 2011, the Dimapur Municipal Council in consultation with the Labour department came out with a reassessed fee chart to be effectively followed within the municipal jurisdiction. The rate as affixed stood at Rs. 220 for ‘skilled’, Rs. 200 for ‘semi-skilled’ and Rs. 150 for ‘unskilled’ in the general labours grouping. For women, it was Rs. 200, Rs. 180 and Rs. 130 respectively. Yet in reality, there are only two known categories in practice - ‘skilled’ and ‘unskilled’ labourers, the latter of which usually works under the former.  For carpentry, the rate was Rs. 270, Rs. 200 and Rs. 130, respectively.
Government revised rates of wages
Kohima, February 22 (DIPR): In pursuance of the recommendation of the Work-charged and Casual Employees Commission under the provisions of Section 4(b), Section 6 and Section 15 of the Nagaland Work-charged and Casual Employees Act, 2001, the Government of Nagaland has revised the rates of wages of fixed paid Work-charged and Casual Employees serving under the State Government as indicated below:
The skilled (Grade-I) shall include those in category of LDA, Mechanic, Fitter, Electrician and other similar category of senior grade skilled nature. The skilled (Grade-II) shall include Driver, Assistant Mechanic, Assistant Fitter, Assistant Electrician, Typists and other similar category of junior grade skilled nature. Unskilled shall include all Group-D employees.

The revised rates of wages as indicated above shall be admissible only to these fixed paid Work-charged and Casual employees who are employed under the State Government on full time basis. All Departments/Establishments having such employees under them, henceforth must maintain daily attendance register, and those who do not report for work shall not be paid wages for the day they don’t work by strictly implementing the principle of ‘No WORK NO PAY’.

The revised rates of wages shall take effect from 1.12.2011. This was stated in a notification issued by the Finance Department on 20th February, 2012.
No.    Category    Revised Rates of
wages per month (fixed)
1.    Skilled (Grade-I)    4,000/-
2.    Skilled (Grade-II)    3,600/-
3.    Unskilled    3,000/-

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