Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Minimum Wage Policy To Benefit 27 Per Cent Of Workers Across Malaysia

BNM: Minimum Wage Policy To Benefit 27 Per Cent Of Workers Across Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 (Bernama) -- Some 27 per cent of workers across Malaysia will benefit from the minimum wage policy, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said.

The central bank said the affected workers in Peninsular Malaysia were expected to receive a 33 per cent increase in wages, while those in Sabah and Sarawak would be given a 38 per cent increment.

"By economic sector, the agriculture industry is expected to be the most affected, as 43 per cent of workers in the sector received wages that were below the minimum wage prior to the implementation of the policy," BNM said in its 2012 Annual Report released Wednesday.

BNM said the minimum wage policy was envisaged to have an important role in addressing inefficiencies in the labour market and in improving the social welfare of low-paid workers.

It said by setting a minimum level for wages, it would alleviate labour market distortions and maximise the efficiency of labour usage in the economy.

The central bank said the increase in the incomes of low-wage workers to levels that would fulfill their basic needs, would improve their economic welfare by raising their standards of living.

Consistent with the Government's objective of transforming Malaysia into a high-income and high-productivity economy, the minimum wage policy provided incentives to both firms and workers to undertake productivity-enhancing measures, it added.

"In the short run, the minimum wage policy may subject firms to higher costs, especially those that have been highly dependent on low-wage workers," BNM said.

However, it said over the medium to long term, the minimum wage policy was expected to have a positive impact on the Malaysian economy and the short-term costs and risks of the minimum wage policy on in?ation were expected to be well-contained.

The minimum wage policy was envisaged to be a positive step towards encouraging a fairer wage structure, and in contributing towards the promotion of higher value-added economic activities and higher-skilled jobs, it added.


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