The government has taken a move to bring some labour-intensive informal sectors under regulations thereby fixing minimum wages for the workers in those sectors to ensure their lawful rights.
To this end, the labour ministry recently instructed the Department of Labour (DoL) and the Minimum Wage Board (WB) to pick new sectors from the labour-intensive informal ones for fixation of the monthly minimum wages, official sources said.
At present, there are 42 formal sectors, including readymade garments, and the wage board fixes wages for the workers of those sectors.
Workers of the formal sectors enjoy a number of benefits under the existing labour law.
Nearly 90 per cent of the total workforce working in informal sectors remains outside the purview of the law and thus are deprived of the lawful benefits.
Under the directive of the labour ministry, the DoL drafted names of more than a dozen informal sectors, the sources said.
When asked, AKM Mizanur Rahman, director general of DoL, said they were scrutinising the names collected from their respective field officials and send a proposal containing a number of them to the ministry concerned shortly.
Sources said the DoL and the wage board primarily identified about 20 informal sectors and, out of them, 13 might be proposed to be included in the list of formal industrial sectors.
The sectors include mobile phone service vendors, outsourcing, cement retailers, jewelry sector, residential hotel, cable network, courier service, agricultural farm, fish farming, electric technicians, battery and autorickshaws.
Other proposed sectors are private hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres, dairy farms and dairy products sector, ceramics, cement sector, electric and electronics sector, brick fields and poultry farms.
Once the government approves the new sectors to be included in the list of formal ones, the minimum wage board would take an initiative to set minimum wages for the workers concerned.
The labour law stipulates that minimum monthly wages for the workers of a sector must be reviewed after every five years.