Jail inmates in Bihar can soon get the highest remuneration among prisoners in the country, with the government planning to hike their daily wages by 10 times.
At present, prisoners get Rs 12 for hard labour, Rs 10 for average labour and Rs 8 for light work. They are employed for services like tailoring, knitting and making soaps and incense sticks. They also work as peons inside the jails.
Sources said the labour department is planning to increase the remuneration of prisoners in all categories. The consent of the finance department is awaited. If the proposal is approved, the wages for hard labour could be increased to Rs 121.
At present, prisoners in Himachal Pradesh get the highest daily wages. They are paid Rs 120 for hard labour.
A source at Motihari Central Jail said: “The government proposes to increase the wages of prisoners to help them and their families, who get one-third of the amount they earn.”
Labour commissioner Dhirendra Mohan Jha confirmed the proposal of the government. He told The Telegraph: “Any hike in daily wages of prisoners should aim to help them and their family members.”
Inspector-general (prisons) Anand Kishore said the government was anxious to turn prisons into correctional and reform homes rather than a facility for incarceration. “Inmates should get sufficient facilities to reflect on their crime and reform themselves,” he said.
Kishore also said: “We are hopeful that the state government will approve the proposal soon.”