Vietnam labor ministry promises wage increase for business sector

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The Vietnamese government will go through with its plan to not increase the minimum wage nationwide next year, but a labor ministry official said that wages within corporate sector will be raised as scheduled.

Pham Minh Huan, deputy head of the ministry, officially known as the Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs, said the government plan must not include the business sector if it is to be effective.

Huan said the ministry has submitted to the government three potential ways to raise minimum wage within the business sector and the government has said it will choose one later this month.

The first scenario would raise the business sector minimum wage by around 36 percent, to between VND1.93 and 2.7 million (US$93-130) a month, depending on location.

Another scenario would raise wages by 25 percent to between VND1.8 and 2.5 million per month.

The third scenario would raise the minimum wage to VND1.8 and 2.4 million a month.

The ministry in August said its plan to raise wages at businesses from January 1 might have to be postponed until mid-2013 as many businesses were still struggling.

The Finance and Budget Committee of Vietnam's National Assembly endorsed a government's plan not to make any changes to the minimum wage next year, keeping it at VND1,050,000 a month.

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Officials said that under the current budget, the government has been having a hard time achieving more important goals such as poverty alleviation and unemployment reduction.

But the assembly chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung said raising wages will stimulate consumption, clear stockpiles and save the economy.

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