Industrialists are allegedly not paying increased salary to workers after a steep hike in minimum wages by the state government with effect from October 1.
In fact, the industry associations are planning to move court, saying that the government has hiked the minimum wages in an arbitrary manner. The state government has raised minimum wages by up to 59% across different categories of industrial workers — unskilled, semi-skilled, skilled and highly skilled.
However, the industry has not hiked the salary for October that was paid in November, say sources. The industry associations have slammed the government for going ahead with the wage hike without taking the industry into confidence.
"Five out of six employers (representatives of the industry) in the Wage Board constituted by the state government did not get notice of the meeting to discuss the wage hike," Dewas Industries Association president Ashok Khandelia said. The 16-member wage board comprising six representatives of employees, six of employers and four independent members had met in July.
After the Minimum Wage Advisory Board submitted a proposal to the government for revision of minimum wages, various industrial associations strongly opposed the decision arguing that the steep wage hike will make them uncompetitive vis-à-vis neighbouring states.
The minimum wages were last revised in 2008 and the dearness allowance was linked to All India Consumer Price Index with an increase every six months. The wage revision is over the above the incremental increase linked to inflation in the past five years. "The minimum wages are more than that of neighbouring states when one takes per capita NSDP (net state domestic product) into account."
"We have urged the state government that for the sake of rapid industrialization of the state, the state government should defer the proposed revision. All the stakeholders should be given an opportunity to express their views on the subject," Khandelia said.
The industry is also miffed with the fact that the state government delayed the issue of notification in October due to Global Investors' Summit and came out with the notification as soon as the summit was over. At that time the government had assured the industry that it will take their concerns into account before a final decision.
While the wage increase has come into effect from October 1, 2014, the industrialists have not paid the additional amount and are planning to move the court.