Pakistan Jacks Up Minimum Wage to Monthly Rs 37,000

Pakistan Jacks Up Minimum Wage to Monthly Rs 37,000

In a move aimed at providing relief to the lower income segment of society, Pakistan announced a significant increase in the minimum wage, raising it to Rs 37,000 per month.

This announcement was made by Finance Minister Mohammad Aurangzeb during his speech for the fiscal year 2024-25. The new minimum wage marks an increase of approximately 16 percent from the previous level of Rs 32,000.

The minimum wage sets the threshold below which employers are not permitted to pay their workers. This enhancement is part of the government’s strategy to alleviate the financial struggles faced by lower-income groups amidst rising inflation.

“The increase in the minimum wage is intended to ease the difficulties of the lower-income group against the inflationary pressures,” said Aurangzeb. “We hope this measure will help people manage their day-to-day affairs, especially when it comes to affording essential items.”

Despite this increase, the new minimum wage of Rs 37,000 translates to around $133 per month, which remains low when compared to other regional countries. However, the government’s decision to enhance the minimum wage is seen as a crucial step towards improving the living standards of workers and supporting them in coping with the rising cost of living.

“The government’s consideration to enhance the minimum wage level will certainly help people, especially to meet the prices of essential items,” noted an economic analyst.

On the flip side, this wage hike has not been welcomed by all. Employers, particularly those in industries already struggling with the current economic conditions, have expressed concerns about the impact of this increase on their operations.

“The economic situation for industries is very challenging right now,” said a representative from the employers’ association. “This increase in minimum wage adds to the financial burden on businesses, which are already grappling with numerous economic difficulties.”

The government’s decision reflects its commitment to protecting the most vulnerable segments of society, but it also highlights the balancing act required to support both workers and employers. As Pakistan navigates through its economic challenges, the impact of this wage increase will be closely monitored by all stakeholders involved.