Section 13



Minimum wage Wage manipulation, non-payment or withholding of wages

This section provides that the wage rates and other conditions of employment of inter-state migrant workers will be the same or analogous to that of other workers employed in the same establishment performing similar work. Otherwise, they will be as prescribed by the appropriate Government (State or Federal), with the limitation that migrant workers may never be paid less than the minimum wages fixed under the Minimum Wages Act.


Section 25 imposes a penalty of up to 1 year of imprisonment, a fine of up to 1,000 INR or both, for the contravention of any of the provisions contained in the (Inter-State Migrant Workmen ) Act.  In the case of a continuing contravention, section 25 establishes an additional fine which may extend to 100 INR for every day during which such contravention continues after conviction for the first contravention.

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Section 13. Wage rates and other conditions of service of inter-State migrant workman.
(1) The wage rates, holiday hours of work and other conditions of service of an inter-State migrant workman shall,
(a) in a case where workman performs in any establishment, the same or similar kind of work as is being performed by any other workman in the establishment, be the same as those applicable to such other workman.
(b)  in any other case, be such as may be prescribed by the appropriate Government: Provided that an inter-State migrant workman shall in no case [b]e  paid less than the wages fixed under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 (11 of 1948)
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, wages payable to an inter-State migrant workman under this section shall be paid in cash.

Law /India / Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979

The Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979 was introduced to regulate the employment of inter-state migrant workers, and matters connected to such employment. The Act was introduced in response to the system of employment of inter-state migrant labour in certain states, used by contractors or agents (also referred to as Sardars or Khatadars) back in the 1970s, which led to the exploitation of migrant labourers.

The introduction to the Act explains the exploitative practices this legislation is intended to addres:

“At the time of recruitment Sardars or Khatadars promise that wages calculated in piece-rate basis would be settled every month but usually this promise is never kept (sic). Once the worker comes under the clutches of the contractor, he takes him to a far-off place on payment of railway fare only. No working hours are fixed for these workers and they have to work on all the days in a week under extremely bad working conditions. The provisions of the various labour laws are not being observed in their case and they are subjected to various malpractices.”