The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (General Assembly) accepted President Thein Sein's recommendations for the 2013-Minimum Wage Bill, according to a report in the state-run newspaper The New Light of Myanmar on March 19.
The Minister of Finance and Revenue announced on March 15 that all civil servants will receive a 20,000 kyat (US$23) monthly pay rise beginning in April; however, no figures for the proposed general minimum wage have been released yet.
Speaking on the issue last June, Thein Sein said, "The basic need of every citizen is comprehensive health care as well as income security or in other words job security. We are in the process of enacting a law to fix minimum wage for workers to enjoy basic social rights they deserve."
The minimum salary for workers in industrial zones was temporarily set at 56,700 kyat (about US$ 65) per month following several strikes by garment factory workers last year.
A garment worker in a Yangon Industrial Zone said that some workers received a salary of around 30,000 kyat (US$ 35) per month, not including overtime.
According to a report by Thura Swiss from June 2012 the minimum wage is currently set at 500 kyat ($0.60) per day for day laborers.
An estimated 32 per cent of the Myanmar population live in poverty, and Myanmar is the poorest country in Southeast Asia, according to some estimates.
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