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Wed 5 Mar 2008 02:12 AM

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Indian wage row nears resolution

Decision to axe minimum wage will end standoff between Bahrain contractors and labour, official says.

Indian wage row nears resolution
LABOUR ROW: Contractors have blamed a series of protests by labourers on plans to impose a $265 minimum monthly wage. (Getty Images)

India’s decision to scrap minimum wage plans for unskilled workers in Bahrain is likely to end a standoff between contractors and labourers in the Gulf state, an official said on Tuesday.

"New Delhi government is well aware of the significance of the remittance from the labourers in the lives of thousands of Indian families and losing it would be a seriously disturbing issue," MP Jasem Hussain told UAE daily Gulf News.

"While the dictation of a minimum wage is simply not acceptable, the labourers have absolutely every right to work and live in adequate conditions," he said.

An official at the Indian embassy in Bahrain said last month India would ban its unskilled workers from migrating to the kingdom unless they were paid a minimum wage of 100 Bahraini dinars ($265) a month.

However plans were thrown into doubt on Monday by media reports claiming the country could scrap the idea due to opposition from contractors and government officials.

Contractors have blamed the plans in part for a recent string of protests in Bahrain by labourers calling for better pay and conditions.

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