Govt revising minimum wage rate of workers from the new FY 2023/24

Published On: July 17, 2023 07:35 AM NPT By: RAJESH KHANAL

Trade unions demand to increase the floor wage rate to Rs 25,000 per month, entrepreneurs say it will increase cost burden to them

KATHMANDU, July 17: The government has stepped up efforts for revising the existing minimum wage of workers effective from the new fiscal year (FY 2023/24), which is starting from Monday.

According to the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security, it has formed a committee under the coordination of Joint Secretary Dandu Raj Ghimire to study the issue of the minimum pay scale for the workers. Earlier, the government in its Policies and Programs for 2023/24 had announced to increase the minimum wage of workers.

The panel includes representatives from All Nepal Federations of Trade Unions, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Confederation of Nepalese Industries, Nepal Rastra Bank and the Ministry of Industry. The panel has suggested considering the existing inflation rates to review the minimum wage rate.

While a number of trade unions have been demanding the government to increase the floor wage rate to Rs 25,000 per month, many entrepreneurs have been pressurizing the government not to hike the wage rate. According to the entrepreneurs, the businesses have just started catching up the rhythm after being crippled by the successive impacts of coronavirus and the Russia-Ukraine war.

The Nepal Trade Union Congress (NTUC) aligned to the Nepali Congress on Sunday organized a march demanding an increment in wages of the workers both in formal and informal sectors. The NTUC General Secretary Ajay Kumar Rai said an increase in the minimum wage is necessary as the workers have to struggle now to sustain their livelihoods due to higher inflation. "The minimum wage of workers should be increased from the existing Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 per month," he said.

The NTUC demanded the government form the Labor Commission, ensure the representation of workers in the policy-making and include workers in contribution-based social security schemes.

In 2007, the government passed the Labour Regulation and fixed the minimum wage for the first time. The basic salary was set at Rs 3,300 per month.

The Labour Law 2017 has sought to revise the minimum pay to workers every two years. Two years ago, the minimum pay to workers was increased from Rs 13,450 to Rs 15,000 a month.

Previously, through the budget of 2018/19, the government had increased the minimum wage rate to Rs 13,450 a month, 38.65 percent higher than the previous minimum monthly wage of Rs 9,700.    


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