Why Kerala Is A Good Paymaster To Construction Workers
According to a report by the National Buildings Organisation (NBO), a government agency under the Ministry of Housing & Poverty Alleviation, wages of labourers, skilled as well as unskilled, was highest in the cities of Kerala between 2011 and 2013. States of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka Punjab, Rajasthan and Odisha are way behind this southern state.
Skill and unskilled workers have it a better in Kerala, and figures give the clear picture:
- Between 2011 and 2013, cities in Kerala provided the highest wages to unskilled men at Rs 329 a day. This was much higher than what they would have earned in the northern states.
- Wages of a carpenter was two-and-half times more in Thiruvananthapuram than in Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal.
- Masons earned the highest wages at Rs 750 in Alappuzha when compared to other Class-I cities that have a population of more than a lakh.
- Unskilled men and women labourers got wages of Rs 650, over two-and-half times higher than the prevailing wages in cities such as Varanasi (UP) and Kota (Rajasthan).
- However, if you thought that the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) government in Kerala is the key reason behind the high wages of construction workers, you are wrong. The prevalent market wages are much higher than the wages set by the government.
- “The obvious reason of high wage in Kerala is the shortage of labour force in the southern state. A large section of both skilled and unskilled labourer from the state earn better abroad and, hence, there has been a huge migration of working population,” The Economic Times quoted a housing ministry official as saying.
Various reports show that the state has an overwhelming shortage of labour in skilled segments such as masonry, carpentry and workers from eastern, northern and other south states such as Orisha, Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are bridging the demand-supply gap. This is true of unskilled labour as well.
A state which had long achieved the proud status of having a hundred per cent literacy rate, more and more people in Kerala have left behind menial jobs to pursue brighter carriers. This, too, is a key reason why there is a huge supply shortage in terms of labour.