New Delhi: The Delhi cabinet on Saturday approved around 37% hike in the minimum wages for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers. If LG Anil Baijal clears this proposal, Delhi will be the first state in the country to provide the highest minimum wages to the working class population.
An earlier proposal seeking a 50% hike had been rejected by then LG Najeeb Jung on the grounds that the committee set up to draw the wages did not have his approval. The cabinet then set up a new committee in keeping with the former LG’s orders and restructured the wages on the basis of its report. The AAP government’s latest move assumes significance given that the city will go to municipal polls in April.
According to the cabinet’s decision, the minimum wages for unskilled labourers will be Rs 13,350 per month against the existing Rs 9,724. For semi-skilled and skilled persons, it will increase from Rs 10,764 to Rs 14,698 and from Rs 11,830 to Rs 16,182 respectively. The wage revision will apply to all workers who fit into these three listed categories and are employed in the government and private sectors. Once the decision is notified, the new minimum wage structure will be binding on all employers.
“This is the first time in the country that revision of the minimum wages is proposed on the basis a scientific method. I will meet the LG next week and request him to give his approval to the recommendations,” CM Arvind Kejriwal said. Labour minister Gopal Rai explained that earlier, the minimum wages used to be decided on the basis of three points—housing, clothing and food. But the committee, which held seven meetings, has also included parameters like education, electricity and fuel considering their market prices.
The CM said his government had cleared all recommendations of a 15-member committee set up with the approval of former LG Jung. Now, the file will be sent to Baijal’s office on Monday.
“I hope the LG will clear this decision of the cabinet in the coming week as we have followed all procedures. It will be the biggest gift for workers on the occasion of Holi,” the CM said. “There is a difference of Rs 600-700 between the recommendations of the two committees. We could have implemented the previous committee’s recommendations, but we did not want any fight with former LG. We would have made some changes in the recommendations of the second committee but we avoided any hurdles in implementing the cabinet decision and in view of this, we have approved the recommendations without any changes.”
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