44 SOCIAL SCIENTIST
fied terms of reference read as follows :
Having regard to all relevant factors, the Commission may, while enquiring into the level of minimum remuneration, examine the Central Government employees demand for a need-based minimum wage which is based on the recommendations of the 15th Indian Labour Conference,12
The Commission has gone beyond the compass of the terms of reference. It has unathorisedly diluted the norms of the 15th ILC. Though the Commission itself has calculated that according to the 15th ILG norms, the minimum wage at the average price index in October 1972 (1960=100) will work out to Rs 31413, it has recommended the minimum wage of Rs 185. It has been up to the Pay Commission to find out arguments for denying the government employees a need-based minimum. No wonder that the commission did exactly this.
By paying lip service to the claim of need-based wage with a statement that "with the development of the country and increase in the national income, the Government employees should, in the fullness of time, be entitled to a need-based minimum wage according to the norms laid down by the 15th ILC59,14 the Commission assumed the authority for modifying these norms in its entirety.
In the first place, instead of agreeing to hitherto accepted NNAG dietary norms the Commission accepted a vegetarian diet schedule15 recommended by the Indian Council of Medical Research Experiment Group in 1968. This is absolutely untenable particularly because these recommendations have still not been even considered in the appropriate forum, namely the ILC. Secondly, the 3-unit family norms of 15th ILC has been discarded on the ground that an employee at the time of recruitment and at least for five years thereafter remains single and therefore does not have to maintain a family comprising "three consumption units". Thirdly, unauthorised dilution has been made in the housing norms also.
The Commission's own summing up would clearly indicate why it has denied the Central government employees their basic demand like need-based minimum in accordance with the norms laid down in the 15th ILC:
Having regard to the lower per capita income of the country, the acute unemployment situation^ the state of finances of the Central Government and the likely repercussions of a high minimum wage on the finances of the state governments, it is supremely important that maximum restraints should be exercised in devising the new pay structure16 (Emphasis added).
The Commission goes on to say>
there is much to be said for the view that if additional funds should be made available to the Central Government by various economy measures or by additional taxation and economy in non-plan expen-