Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Those who recognised that the fixing of statutory wage rates did not necessarily imply a fixed monthly wage, irrespective of capacity and output, appeared to be influenced by the belief that it would be necessary to prescribe in the wage ordinance the exact amount to be paid in the case of piece or task workers for different kinds of work such as hoeing, pruning, plucking, etc. The laying down of specific piece rates would no more be possible in Assam than it has been in Ceylon, and indeed no more desirable. Agreeing, therefore, that, so far as this system is concerned, the objections are valid, we go on to indicate what appears to us to be a system which is not open to these objections and which we believe to be the most suitable, if not the only practicable, system for Assam. In the case of workers paid on a time rate basis, this would involve the determination by the wage-fixing body of basic rates for male, female and child workers. In the case of those employed on piece or task rates, who form the vast majority in this industry, the employers themselves would fix the rate for the task, after determining its capacity to yield a worker of ordinary skill and diligence at least the amount determined by the wage-fixing body as the minimum earning for the given unit of time in the case of the worker employed by the piece or task. In other words, such a worker, as opposed to the slow or inexperienced worker, should be assured a minimum amount for the performance of a given task. The fixing of only one basic rate for children would be made possible if, as we recommend elsewhere, the starting age for child workers was restricted to 10 years. The existence of the rate would act as an additional check to the employment of underage children, who would clearly be unable to earn such a rate. It would be for the wage-fixing body to determine the age at which a child should be deemed to be an adult for the purpose of the basic rate.