Minimum Wages Act, 1948
The Minimum Wages Act, 1948 sets the framework of declaring the minimum wages payable for occupations, both in formal and informal sector. 
The Minimum Wages Act, 1948 safeguards the interests of workers by providing fixation of minimum wages mainly focusing on unorganized sector and in specified occupations (called scheduled employments) (Section 2 g). The act binds the employers to pay their workers the minimum wages fixed under the Act from time to time (Section 12). Owing to their jurisdiction the Central and the State Governments fix, revise, review and enforce the payment of minimum wages without any discrimination of gender (Section 3).
Hours of work and overtime
The Act also regulates the working hours and enforces overtime payment for working longer hours or on holidays / off days (Section 13, 14)
If the worker has worked lesser hours not due to own fault like coming late then also minimum wages has to be paid, because the employer has failed to assign adequate work (Section 15).
Current Minimum Wage
With effect from November 2009 the National Floor Level Minimum Wage has been increased to Rs 100 from Rs 80 (in September 2007). Several states have fixed higher Minimum wages than those prescribed by Central Government for highly skilled, skilled, unskilled and semi skilled workers engaged in Scheduled employments.
Offences and Penalties
Any person paying less than minimum rates of wages can be punished with imprisonment upto 6 months or with fine upto Rs.500.
Human Resource Management (2009), Indian Adaptation, 11th edition, Gary Dessler & Biju Varkkey, Pearson Education.
Press Information Bureau, Government of India, Labour & Employment, legislations brought for the welfare of the workers during the year. Retrieved April 12, 2010, form PIB online via access: http://www.pib.nic.in/release/rel_print_page1.asp?relid=56187
Disclaimer: This section provides only a brief of Indian legislation and should not be considered as legal advice.