Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
The lowest paid industrial workers are the labourers engaged on manual work which does not require any substantial degree of intelligence or skill. These fall roughly into two classes. There are a number of labourers regularly employed on manual work in factories and other industrial establishments. In the majority of provinces few men in this class are able to earn more than Rs. 15 a month regularly, the majority earn less and earnings are sometimes as low as Rs. 10. In the Punjab and Delhi the average would seem to be above Rs. 15, while in the Bombay Presidency and Burma it is nearer Rs. 20 and Rs. 25 respectively. The other class consists of the large volume of unskilled labour engaged in various miscellaneous occupations on daily rates finding employment in industry either casually or for limited spells. The wages paid to this class of worker are influenced to a large extent by the prevailing rates of wages for agricultural labour in the neighbourhood and these vary from province to province and even from district to district. While it can be stated with some confidence that this class of worker earns appreciably more than the agricultural labourer, his earnings are usually low. In centres of Burma and the Bombay Presidency the prevailing rate for men seems to be above 12 annas while in Delhi and the Punjab it is below that figure. In Bengal, Bihar and Orissa and parts of the Central Provinces, the daily rates are roughly 8 annas for men, 6 annas for women, and 4 annas for children, but in Madras, the United Provinces and some parts of the Central Provinces the rates are lower and in some areas of these provinces are as low as 5 annas a day for men.