Due to poor technological penetration, the construction market has been operating in an opaque manner. This opacity has allowed people to get away with paying low wages, violating legal provisions, and demonstrating bad behaviour.
Additionally, more than 50 Mn workers still have to find work through informal means, and more than 1 Mn contractors still rely on references to get business. There is no singular platform where every stakeholder is present and is incentivised to protect their reputation.
Overall, across the major cities of India (Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Pune in this case), construction workers are not being paid government-mandated daily minimum wages. This trend is most prominent in the case of unskilled labourers. While 90.9% of helper jobs in Delhi pay less than the minimum wage (?711), the percentage is 90.4% for Bengaluru, 88% for Pune, and 87.3% for Mumbai. Hyderabad is the best at 78.5%. On average, 87% of construction helpers are not paid minimum wage.
For technician jobs, Delhi ranks at the bottom, with 66.5% of jobs paying less than the minimum wage (?788), and Bengaluru at 65.8% is marginally better. Chennai is the best, with 44% of jobs paying less than the minimum wage. As for supervisor jobs, for which the minimum wage is ?866, 26.7% of jobs in Chennai do not meet the daily wage threshold. This is the lowest across all cities. Conversely, Pune has the highest percentage of jobs not paying the minimum wage, with 42.4% of supervisor jobs not meeting the wage threshold.
The average wage per day was the highest in Hyderabad and the lowest in Delhi. For helper jobs, the average wage in Hyderabad is the highest, at ?584, while the same in Delhi is ?515, which is the lowest. For technician jobs, the average wage is the highest in Hyderabad at ?862. On the other end lies Delhi, at ?718. For supervisor jobs, Hyderabad is well-paying at ?1035, while Pune is the lowest paying, at ?885. Delhi ranks at the penultimate spot, with an average wage of ?925.
Of about 4,500 live jobs, less than 10% of jobs provide their employees with Provident Fund deposits and Employee State Insurance. Specifically, only 8.6% of jobs have made provisions for contributing to employees’ Provident Funds, and only 7.1% of the jobs have made provisions for covering their employees with the Employee State Insurance. This is an alarmingly low number, given how demanding and hazardous construction work is.
For migrant workers, Maharashtra was the most preferred location for availing jobs, at 10.5K migrant applications, followed by Uttar Pradesh at 5.5K migrant applications and Haryana at 4K migrant applications. To a certain degree, this corresponds with the trend observed regarding the job demand across states. Maharashtra has the highest number of active jobs, at 1,331, followed by Uttar Pradesh, at 1,170 active jobs. Gujarat ranks third with 403 active jobs, which is much lower than Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh’s numbers.