The Arvind Kejriwal cabinet is likely to clear the proposal to revise minimum wages in the city by the month end. A special committee constituted by the Delhi labour department, with approval from the Lieutenant Governor, is expected to submit its report to the department in a day or two.
This is the second attempt by the AAP government within months to revise minimum wages after the then L-G turned down its previous decision to revises wages by about 50% on procedural grounds. Labour minister Gopal Rai said the proposal will be put before the Cabinet for clearance soon after.
“The committee held its final meeting on Wednesday. It’s expected to submit its report this week. I am hopeful of sending the minimum wages file to L-G for approval after cabinet nod within 10 days,” Rai told reporters.
The minimum wages for unskilled labour in Delhi currently stands at ₹9,468 per month, ₹10,582 for semi-skilled and ₹11,622 for skilled labour. In August last year, the Delhi Cabinet had cleared the proposal of the labour department to hike minimum wages in the city by about 50% amid opposition from a section of traders and industrialists, citing fears of flight of businesses to neighbouring states.
As per the proposal, the Minimum wages for unskilled person in the city would have increased to ₹14,052 against the existing ₹9,568. For the semi-skilled and skilled persons, minimum wage would have increase from ₹10,582 to ₹15,471 and from ₹11,622 to 17,033 respectively.
The decision was, however, turned down by the then Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung stating that the 13-member committee formed by the Delhi government in April 2016 to look into the revision was not legal as prior approval for it was not taken from his office. The Delhi government then formed the new committee.
The last time the basic minimum wages were revised in the capital was in 2010. However, the labour department has been notifying increase in Dearness Allowance (DA) twice in a year - April and October, which is based on All India Consumer Price Index No (CPIN).