POLITICS

Delhi Lt Governor Approves 37% Hike In Minimum Wages Of Workers

Apparently the highest in independent India. 

03/03/2017 8:15 PM IST | Updated 03/03/2017 8:48 PM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images

NEW DELHI -- Lt Governor Anil Baijal has approved the Delhi government's decision to hike by 37 per cent the minimum wages of unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said today.

Dubbing the 37 per cent hike in minimum wages for the unskilled, the semi-skilled and the skilled workers in Delhi as "historic" and "highest" in Independent India, he said a notification for its implementation will be issued on 6 March.

Kejriwal also thanked Baijal for his giving his approval to the AAP government's decision.

"The notification for hike in minimum wages will be issued on 6 March and the increased salaries will be paid to the workers in accordance with it," he said in a press conference.

As per the Delhi Cabinet's decision, for an unskilled worker the minimum wages will be ₹ 13,350 per month against the existing ₹ 9,724 per month.

For semi-skilled and skilled persons, it will increase from ₹ 10,764 to ₹ 14,698 and from ₹ 11,830 to ₹ 16,182 per month respectively.

The government had in August last year hiked minimum wages by 50 per cent but the decision was struck down by the then Lt Governor Najeeb Jung.

Kejriwal said that the difference between the last year's hike and the present 37 per cent was due to "seasonal variations" in the prices of food and other items considered in evaluation of minimum wages in a scientific survey.

"The government has cleared all the recommendations of the 15-member committee set up last year to revise the minimum wages without any interference," he said.

The Chief Minister urged the employers to "share" their earnings with workers who work for them, and advised them not to go to courts to challenge the hike in minimum wages.

Delhi Labour minister Gopal Rai said that the state and the district level monitoring committees will be formed to ensure that the employers pay new minimum wages to their employees.

"The employers will have to provide online information regarding payment of minimum wages by them," Rai said, adding "strict" monitoring will be done to ensure its implementation.

The hike in minimum wages will benefit around 50 lakh people in Delhi, he said.

The Minimum Wages Bill, amended by the Delhi government and is with the Centre, provides for stringent punishment for "violations" of minimum wages provision by employers, he said.

"The Bill proposes a penalty of ₹ 50,000 and jail term up to 3 years for violation of minimum wages provisions. At present, the penalty is ₹ 500 while jail term is six months," Rai said, and urged the Centre to approve the legislation.

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