Issuing a notice in the Nepal Gazette today, the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security has announced the minimum wage of workers will be raised by more than 11 per cent with effect from mid-July.

On the occasion of International Labour Day - May 1, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had announced that the minimum wage of workers would be increases.

Currently, the minimum salary of the workers is Rs 13,450 per month.

The ministry has stated that their salary would be raised to Rs 15,000, which includes Rs 9,385 in basic salary and Rs 5,615 inflation allowance.

This means that from mid-July, workers in Nepal will earn minimum of Rs 577 per day and Rs 77 per hour on an average. Currently, per day wage stands at Rs 517, while per hour is Rs 69. In addition to the prescribed wages, the industries or organisations will have to provide additional facilities, including provident fund and allowances as per the Labour Act.

At the local levels as well, even though the local governments have the right to set the minimum wage for their respective areas, the minimum salary should be as per the prescribed amount, according to the notice. This means the local governments cannot set the minimum salary in their areas at less than Rs 15,000 a month. The notice has also stated that the employment agreement should ensure workers are not paid less than the prescribed wage.

Despite the salary increase announcement from the government, due to the pandemic most of the workers in various sectors are either not getting paid regularly or only getting partial salary. Moreover, the employers have also said that salary raise would add on to their financial stress at a time when their income has already been dented due to the pandemic.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 4, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.