Report No. 134
3.4. The desirability of amending section 4 of the Act in order to make it more just and equitable to the injured workman or the dependants of the workman who has lost his life.-
Section 4 (pertaining to the amount of compensation payable to the injured workman or the dependants of the deceased workman engaged in a hazardous occupation who loses his life), as originally embodied in the Act of 1923, has been substituted by new section 4 which has come into force from 14th May, 1984. By the newly substituted section 4, the original scheme for computation of compensation has been replaced by an altogether new scheme. Clauses (a) and (b) of sub-section (1) of section 4 of the Workmen's Compensation Act respectively prescribe Rs. 20,000 as the minimum amount to be awarded to the dependants of the deceased workman and Rs. 24,000 as the minimum amount of compensation in the case of permanent total disablement.
This minimum amount was fixed by virtue of the Amendment Act of 1984. The minimum wage payable to a workman as on 31st March, 1984 was Rs. 300 per month.1 The present rate of minimum wages with effect from May 1, 1989 is Rs. 750 per month.2 In other words, there is 150 per cent. increase in the minimum wages. As a result of the revision an the minimum wages, there is a need for revision in the minimum, amount of compensation payable in case of death of a workman or in case of permanent or total disability. Having regard to the rise in cost of living and the resultant fall in the value of money and in view of the upward revision of the minimum wages by 150% minimum compensation deserves to be revised upwards by substituting the figures Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 60,000 for the figures Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 24,000 respectively.
1. Notification Nos. F.12(142)/79-MW/Lab and F.12(165)/80-MW of Delhi Administration published in Delhi Gazette, Extra., Pt. IV, dated February 23, 1982.
2. Notification No. F.12(1)/88-MW/Lab dated April 28, 1989, issued by the Delhi Administration, and Times of India, New Delhi, dated May 1, 1989.