RBI reports: West Bengal ranks below national average in daily wage of rural workers
The report — Handbook of Statistics on Indian States 2020-21 — reveals that the daily wage of labourers in the state is the worst among the major states of the country. The Handbook divides the rural workers into four categories — agricultural workers, non-agricultural workers, construction workers, and horticulture workers. Among the four types of workers, the wage pattern among the first three types of workers is very low.
This comes as a contradiction to the claims Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has occasionally said that the state government is committed to stand beside the farmers, agricultural workers, and rural labourers.
As far as the agricultural workers are concerned, in 2020-21 under the general agriculture workers parameter, the daily wage rate for the rural population in West Bengal is only Rs.288.60, which is below the national average of Rs.309.90 during the same period.
In the financial year, 2019-20 the daily wage of agricultural labour was even less at Rs.267.50 per day. Among all the states the daily wage of the agricultural labourers is the highest at Rs.706.50 per day. The daily wage in some of the major states like Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and Odisha is worse than in West Bengal.
When it comes to construction workers, where the average national daily wage is Rs.340.70, West Bengal has a daily wage of Rs.300.20. It has slightly improved from the previous fiscal year when the daily wage of the construction workers of the state was only Rs.290.50. Interestingly enough the daily wage of the construction workers is Rs.829.70 – the highest in the country. The daily wage of the construction workers in four states — Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Tripura — is less than West Bengal.
In the non-agricultural fields also the daily wage of the labourers of West Bengal is bad. The labourers are paid Rs.305.70 when the national average is Rs.309.1. The non-agricultural labourers in Kerala earn Rs.677.6 which is the highest in the country. Several states including Bihar, Odisha, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Assam, and Meghalaya have a lesser daily wage structure for the non-agricultural workers than West Bengal.
“As per the landholding pattern in West Bengal, each owner of farmland has a very small area of land under his or her ownership. So naturally, this farmland does not give the landowner enough reserve to offer a decent wage to the agriculture workers, thus the rural economy in the state is not flourishing. The rural wage rates in the non-farm sectors are lower compared to the national average. This is an alarming signal for the state of the rural economy in West Bengal,” a senior economist who did not want to be named told IANS.
“The state government had not taken enough initiatives to ensure the minimum wages for the agricultural workers. The state government will have to ensure that an initiative should be taken from today so that its positive impact can be felt after some years,” he added.
State labour minister Becharam Manna was not available for comment.
[With Inputs from IANS]
PGurus is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with all the latest news and views
For all the latest updates, download PGurus App.
- AIADMK moves Madras HC for CBI probe into Rs.500 cr ‘Pongal gift hamper scam’ - January 25, 2022
- T-Series, Hungama enter metaverse with NFTs; Lakshmi Manchu also takes her opening step - January 24, 2022
- WeChat account of Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison taken over and renamed, Australia accuses China - January 24, 2022