Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
In suggesting the establishment of statutory wage-fixing machinery we must not be understood to suggest, in an industry largely worked on a piece-rate basis, that the actual piece rates should be fixed by statute. In our view a careful investigation of the rates at present obtaining is necessary for the purpose, not only of determining the basic rates to be fixed, but of ensuring the establishment of the type of machinery best suited to the industry. We go on to indicate the general lines on which such an investigation should be conducted. It is not necessary to assume that the basic rate ultimately fixed would exceed that at present paid in the better gardens. The case for the operation of such a rate in Assam does not rest on the supposition that wages are exceptionally low. As a matter of fact, annual earnings in the Assam plantations are higher than those of agricultural workers in most parts of India, and in considerable areas of Assam they appear to be higher than in other plantations. On the other hand, we believe that in some gardens the rates of wages are appreciably lower than in adjacent ones and that they should and could be raised at least to the general level; this would be secured by the adoption of such a system.