Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Our first recommendation in this connection refers to the recovery of debts through employers. Under the Civil Procedure Code, it is possible for a money-lender to secure the attachment of the wages of any one who is not a labourer or a domestic servant, and we understand that the majority of workers in organised industry would not be regarded as labourers within the meaning of the Act. But in respect of certain classes of employees, particularly railway servants and the servants of local authorities, the law allows the money-lender to use the employer as his debt-collector to a much greater extent. In such cases it is possible to attach half of an employee's salary or the amount by which that salary exceeds twenty rupees a month, whichever is less. In some cases private employers are required to make similar recoveries, although the legality of this is doubtful. Thus, in the case of an employee in receipt of a regular salary, the money-lender can secure an order directing the railway administration to hand over, month by month, a large part of the employee's salary until the whole decree has been covered, a period which extends in some cases to years rather than months. The comparative security of railway service further increases the attraction of the railway servant for the moneylender, and all the evidence goes to show that the level of indebtedness in terms of wage's is higher among railway servants than among industrial employees as a whole. This is itself a striking confirmation of our main thesis that it is the credit of the worker which is his undoing.
We recommend that the salary and wages of every workman receiving less than Rs. 300 a month be exempted entirely from the possibility of attachment. If, on examination, there are found to be objections to applying this exemption to every one employed on a salary less than Rs. 300 a month, the definition of workman in the Workmen's Compensation Act might be suitable.