India puts Bahrain minimum wage plan on hold
Dubai (PTI): India has decided to put on hold a proposed measure fixing the minimum wage for its nationals taking up employment in Bahrain following resistance from employers and the government in the Gulf country.
The proposed initiative by the Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry to protect unskilled Indian workers by fixing a minimum wage of BD100 (around Rs 10,481) was scheduled to come into force from Saturday.
However, an official said that a final decision would now be taken on March 3.
"We will take a final decision after receiving new instructions from New Delhi," the official who did not wish to be named told PTI over phone.
Earlier, India said it would not allow its unskilled workers to leave for Bahrain unless they had contracts stipulating the minimum wage, drawing criticism from Bahraini employers.
The decision led to many strikes in Bahrain but Bahrain's Labour Ministry said India is entitled to set laws governing the migration of its workers, but the new laws cannot be binding on Bahrain's employers.
Indian ambassador to Bahrain Balajkrishna Shetty had said that the new rules would be applicable only to fresh employment contracts, signed with effect from March 1.
Leading Bahraini contractors had met the Indian envoy over what they called practical difficulties if the decision is implemented. Shetty said the decision to fix minimum basic wage level for unskilled and other categories of Indian workers in the Gulf was taken because of the rising cost of living and falling value of various foreign currencies against the Indian rupee.
Employers in Bahrain have already fallen in line with the BD100 minimum wage for Indian maids, implemented last October, the envoy added. http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/001200802291202.htm