The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Hon. Jone Usamate, has announced that Professor of Economics Dr. Partha Gangopadhyay will lead Government’s review of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and the ten sectoral Wages Regulations.
The Fijian Government announced the review of the NMW on 14 February 2017. The review will cover the economic and social impacts of the NMW since the last review held on 1 July 2015. A concurrent review of the sectoral wages regulations will also take place for this time period.
Dr. Gangopadhyay is currently on an overseas secondment from Western Sydney University as the Chair Professor of Economics and Inaugural Director of the Centre for Economic Policy and Modelling at the University of the South Pacific. He has over 20 years of experience in economics research and has authored leading research publications in poverty, labour markets and employment conditions.
Minister Usamate pointed to Dr. Gangopadhyay’s extensive experience and impressive slate of relevant publications as the deciding factors for his appointment.
“Dr. Gangopadhyay is a leading economics expert in the Pacific and we are very pleased that he will be leading Government’s review team to ensure that workers are compensated fairly in Fiji. This is a major initiative, one that my Ministry has been laying the groundwork toward for some time. We are keen to have in place the most highly-qualified team possible to make sure this important task is carried out as efficiently and comprehensively as possible,” he said.
The review began this week with the launch of a nationwide survey, and will continue in all divisions for a period of three weeks. The survey is being conducted for employers and workers, particularly those covered under the NMW and the Wages Regulations.
Dr. Gangopadhyay recently led a workshop for Ministry officials and the 88 enumerators that will undertake the survey. Following the completion of the survey, Dr. Gangopadhyay’s review team will conduct nationwide consultations to raise awareness on the review process and seek public participation.
All consultations are open to the general public. The full consultation schedule will be advertised in the Fiji Sun and on FBC radio programmes in the coming days.