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So, $1USD = "$5 dollars" in terms of actual purchasing power. Therefore $10USD dollars an hour = $50 dollars of purchasing power over there. $15 = $75, $20 = $100 and so on.
Wages for unskilled work in India are low. You can get a good full time gardener for $100 a month. BUT that doesn't apply to skilled programmers. You'll find that they charge less than their counterparts in the UK and the US but only about 20-30% less.
Intepreting Indian CVs can be tricky though, a problem I faced when I first came to the west and they didn't know what ICSE was (high school), didn't know how to appraise the grades I received at various stages in my education or what the value of some of my other qualifications were.
Go by verifiable skills rather than certificates/qualifications (because it's still possible to buy the latter ;-)).
I've had several companies quote me $20USD per hour - everything ranging from Flash to php/database solutions, with samples that look pretty decent. Several others are available on Elance, same rates.
What rates are you seeing, then? Are you talking general web dev, or just Access as the first poster listed?
The main reason that many programmer from India would like to charge like more than what they would make in a paycheck is:
1) Contract work is not secure enough for long run.
Now if you were to show the person enough security and hire the person on paycheck for long run, I am sure you can get a *real good skilled programmer* for under US$ 700.00/month.. and if you want to be extra nice, than add another 300 bucks for each month and you got yourself a super nice programmer and hard worker.
P.S. I am from India too.
Perhaps we overpaid, perhaps ours was a particularly awkward project.
NeedScripts, the rates would vary widely. I'm sure you'll get someone just out of a basic NIIT course who'll be happy with Rs 10,000. Can you see someone just graduating from an IIT accepting that kind of money?
I suppose my conclusion is that the rates could vary widely, which doesn't quite help johnser unfortunately.
Now if you were to show the person enough security and hire the person on paycheck for long runI agree with that. Perhaps if you see the possibility of further development work it may be worth keeping him on the pay roll rather than agreeing a one-off fee.