Skip to main content

Wages in Gujarat are one of the lowest in the country, say National Sample Survey data, released last week

By Rajiv Shah
The latest National Sample Survey (NSS) data have suggested that Gujarat's regular wage earners, salaried classes and the casual workers are being paid one of the lowest wages as compared to most Indian states. While Gujarat may claim to have the highest pace of urbanisation in India, shockingly, as against the all-India average per day earning of urban regular wage earners and salaried persons of Rs 450 per day, in Gujarat it is a poor Rs 320. This, if the NSS, which carried out its survey in 2011 and 2012, is to be believed, is the lowest compared to anywhere else in the country.
In fact, even the so-called backward states offer better wages to its salaries employees and regular workers. In Bihar, it is Rs 412, in Chhattisgarh Rs 323, in Assam Rs 607, in Madhya Pradesh Rs 436, in Odisha 432, in Rajasthan Rs 417, and in Uttar Pradesh Rs 483. Regular wages and salaries in “comparable states”, which compete with Gujarat for achieving developmental goals, are -- Maharashtra Rs 486, Andhra Pradesh Rs 395, Karnataka Rs 487, Haryana Rs 777, Punjab Rs 362, and Tamil Nadu Rs 390.
The NSS has situation was found to be equally bad in with regard to casual labour in urban areas. Casual wages, on an average, are Rs 145 per day in Gujarat, which, again, is worse than 20 major states, except for four -- Chhattisgarh, where it was Rs 106, Madhya Pradesh Rs 126, Uttar Pradesh Rs 143 and West Bengal Rs 128. In casual labour in urban areas, Kerala tops the list with Rs 310 per day on an average, with the all-India average being Rs 170. Significantly, most of the urban wage earners work in industry, and the Gujarat government is in forefront in advocating the anti-labour exit policy.
Coming to casual workers in the rural areas, Gujarat was found to be equally bad. In rural areas, casualisation has taken place on a massive scale and small and marginal farmers are increasingly turning into wage labourers. The NSS survey has found that the casual workers’ wages in rural Gujarat – on an average – are Rs 113, as against the all-India average of Rs 139. Here, Gujarat is worse than all 20 major states except two -- Chhattisgarh (Rs 84) and Madhya Pradesh (Rs 105). The earning of casual workers in rural areas was, again, found to be the highest in Kerala, Rs 315, which is almost three times that of Gujarat.
Things are slightly better with regular wage earners and salaried classes of the rural areas, who in any case form a small section. Here, on an average, per person per day earning is Rs 254 per day, as against the all-India average of Rs 298.96. Several “backward” were found to be performing better in their respective rural areas -- Bihar (Rs 411.82), Assam (Rs 302.22), Rajasthan (Rs 305.59), Uttar Pradesh (Rs 276.13), Jharkhand (Rs 478.61). The survey shows that regular wages and salaries in rural areas were higher in as many as 14 out of 20 major states compared to Gujarat.
Urban Gujarat's poverty should be a matter of concern. According to the 2011 Census, 42.6 per cent of Gujarat's population lives in urban areas, as against 37 per cent in 2001, making the state one of the fastest growing urbanized states in the country, fast catching up with Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Yet, the fact is, urban poverty has failed to come down in any drastic way. In fact, the percentage of urban poverty in Gujarat during the second half of the decade ending 2010 was a mere 2.2 per cent, from 20.1 per cent to 17.9 per cent, which just about 0.44 per cent per annum.
Notably, this was lower than a dozen out of 20 major states, including Madhya Pradesh, which saw a whopping 12.2 per cent reduction in urban poverty, followed by Orissa (11.7), Rajasthan (9.8), Maharashtra (7.3), Tamil Nadu (6.9), Karnataka (6.3), Kerala (6.3), Andhra Pradesh (5.7), Chhattisgarh (4.6), Bihar (4.3), Uttar Pradesh (2.4) and West Bengal (2.4). The all-India average percentage of urban poverty reduction is 4.6.
Poor wages in Gujarat become worse for the female workers of every category. The average male casual workers’ wage in the urban areas, according to the survey, was Rs 161, as against the female wage of Rs 89. As for regular wage earners and salaried employees in the urban areas, the average per day earning in Gujarat was found to be Rs 326 for males and Rs 272 for females. Of course, this is not at all Gujarat specific, yet the fact is, Gujarat’s females are one of the worst earners of wages compared to most Indian states.

Comments

TRENDING

What's behind public sector banks showing huge profits in 2nd quarter of 2022-23?

By Thomas Franco*  The quarter two results of the public sector banks (PSBs) appear to be noteworthy compared to a few years ago. All these banks showed good profits in the financial year 2021-22. Twelve PSBs made a net profit of Rs 25,685 crore in quarter 2 of FY23 and a total of Rs 40,991 crore in the first half of 2023. The combined profit of 12 banks in March 2022 was Rs 66,539 crore which was 110% more than 2021 – Rs. 31,816 crore. The Asset Quality Review of 2015 saw a surge in NPAs of PSBs jumping to Rs 8.96 lakh crore in March 2018 from Rs 2.17 lakh crore in March 2014. This was simply because the norms for NPAs were changed from 180 days to 90 days, and all restructuring of even genuine accounts was done away with. In 2018 NPA of SBI was 5.73% which has come down to 0.8% in Q2 of FY23. The NPA of Canara Bank has come down to 2.19% from 7.48% in Mar 2018. The same trend is seen in all public banks. Now SBI has seen a jump of 74% in its net profit, while Canara Bank’s profit is

Business back to normal? IIM-A survey says, sales expectations have sharply improved

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management’s Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES), which polls a panel of business leaders to find out their perception of slack in economy, including their inflation expectations, year-ahead cost expectations and the factors influencing price changes, such as profit and sales levels, etc., has said that the cost perceptions data indicates signs of moderation in price pressures. Carried out for September, the survey says, the cost pressure of the reporting firms has shifted from “very significant increase (over 6%) to moderate increase (3.1% to 6%).” It adds, “The percentage of firms perceiving over 10% cost increase y-o-y has declined. Over 21% of the firms in September 2022 round of the survey perceive that costs have increased very significantly (over 10%) – down from 26% recorded in August 2022.” Claiming to be a unique survey, in that it goes straight to businesses -- the price setters -- rather than to consumers or household

Innovative, Hrishikesh Mukherjee's movies often banked on excessive sentimentalism

By Harsh Thakor*  Late Hrishikesh Mukherjee more popularly known as Hrishi Da, whose birth centenary was celebrated recently, ranks amongst India’s most progressive and innovative film makers, exhibiting mastery in craft of making socially relevant themes. Mukherjee knitted plots together with great visualisation and sensitivity, be it in comedy, pathos, anger or romance, weaving every ingredient in proper proportion.  Melodrama was restrained and scripts dissected with surgical skill. Without over romanticisation, Mukherjee would do complete justice to the role of the character. He did not champion art films, but gave commercial films an artistic touch. Rarely have artists transcended the medium of cinema to project the real essence of their cultural values so or film directors who narrate a simple tale of regular families that have characters of unique shades, characters which are bound to touch human emotions universally. His characters frequently underwent life-changing journeys

GoI's productivity linked incentives to corporates 'without independent analysis'

Counterview Desk  Wondering how prudent is the Government of India's (GoI's) Productivity Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, EAS Sarma, former secretary, GoI, in a representation to Nirmala Sitharaman, Union finance minister, has said it appears to be nothing more than subsidy to the private sector without any responsibility. Giving a specific example against the backdrop of announcement of 50% subsidy covering the project cost of the Vedanta Group's decision to set up a semiconductor fabrication plant in Gujarat, in collaboration with Foxconn, Sarma says, "The total cost of this project is reported to be Rs 1,54,000 crore. 50% of this works out to Rs 77,000 crore." Stating that this creates the impression that the entire subsidy allocation for the semiconductor manufacturing sector would be appropriated by this company, Sarma says, "The Gujarat government did not lag behind in liberally announcing similar incentives for the Vedanta-Foxconn project. It offered 7

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

There aren't any hard data to prove forced conversion, why move for a Central law?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  Srinivasan Jain, the popular TV anchor with NDTV, has done a tremendous service to the Constitution of India and, thereby, to the people of India! In a hard-hitting exposé on his weekly segment ‘Truth vs Hype’, released on 19 November, Jain talks about the so-called ‘Forced Conversions’ with incontrovertible facts and the falsehoods and myths that are built around the issue!   A good part of his expose is an interview with Ashwin Kumar Upadhyay, the petitioner in the current case on ‘forced conversions’ in the Supreme Court. Jain directly takes on Upadhyay and the 65-page petition submitted by the latter to the Supreme Court. Jain emphatically states that not a single example cited by Upadhyay in the petition comes under the ambit of ‘forced conversion’.  In fact, Jain proves that one of the examples is completely fake! Upadhyay, however, continues with his rant without being able to authenticate or substantiate or furnish a single bit of evidence to prove his

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Diminishing returns: Hydro projects contribute less than 10% of India's power generation

Counterview Desk  Pointing out that India’s hydro generation remains around 10% for the last six years, the advocacy group South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) has said that power generation from hydropower projects continues to show diminishing returns, as has been the story close to three decades now. Yet, says SANDRP in a note, the Government of India continues to push large hydro by announcing a slew of additional subsidies for hydropower projects, more for political economy reason. In fact, attempts are being made to flog unviable hydropower projects with various kind of manipulations, illegalities and violations, it adds. Text : In last six years, from 2016-17 to 2021-22, India’s large hydropower projects (projects above 25 MW installed capacity) have contributed just around 10% of the total power generation, going as low as 9.68% in 2017-18. In fact, in three of these six years, large hydro contributed less than 10% and recovering only marginally in the rest,

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.