When will I get a job?
The government will introduce a law on Tuesday that would require companies that hire people for jobs to pay them a living wage, a move that has raised fears of a job crunch in the sector.
The proposal comes amid a labour market slump in India.
The Reserve Bank of India said last month that it expected the unemployment rate to fall to 5.5% in the second quarter of next year, its lowest since March 2010.
The move would bring the total number of people employed in the economy to more than 5 million, up from 4.5 million in July.
In the next 12 months, the government will propose a bill that would bring down the minimum wage to 8,000 rupees ($13) from 8,500 rupees, or about $9.50.
“This is an attempt to tackle the job shortage, and in this sense, it is a positive step forward,” Nandan Nilekani, an economist at the World Bank, told Al Jazeera.
“But it is not enough.”
The bill will not go into effect until December.
“It is not the right moment for this.
We are in the middle of a serious labour market crisis,” said Manoj Gupta, an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore.
The government is also pushing for a national wage floor.
“We need to provide minimum wage support to those who are unemployed, as this is a key pillar of our economic recovery plan,” said Prakash Rajendran, an assistant professor at IIT-Kharagpur.
The bill is being pushed by the Congress party, which has been calling for the minimum wages to be raised since 2010, when it won a landslide victory in the general elections.
It is likely to face opposition from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has traditionally opposed higher minimum wages.
“I am against any legislation that would create any uncertainty in the labour market,” BJP chief Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday, adding that a minimum wage hike would only worsen the jobless situation.
The BJP has also said that it will also push for a universal basic income, an idea which is widely rejected by economists and has not been implemented in the developed world.
However, it has been seen as a way of alleviating the stress caused by the global financial crisis, which saw the number of unemployed soar from 11 million in 2009 to almost 30 million in 2016.