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Delhi govt to reconstitute panel to revise minimum wages of workers

The workers who received their salaries for the month of August this week, said, they had reworked their finances according to the revised pay. However, since they are now getting their old remuneration from this month, it will be difficult to put things back into budget.

delhi Updated: Sep 09, 2018 01:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Delhi government,Minimum wages,Delhi high court
The move comes a month after the Delhi high court quashed the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government’s March 2017 notification fixing higher wages for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers in the city.(PTI File)

The Delhi government’s labour department is likely to reconstitute the advisory committee to revise minimum wages of all classes of workers in the national Capital. The move comes a month after the Delhi High Court quashed the AAP government’s March 2017 notification fixing higher wages for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers in the city.

The workers who received their salaries for the month of August this week, said, they had reworked their finances according to the revised pay. However, since they are now getting their old remuneration from this month, it will be difficult to put things back into budget.

“Isn’t ₹13,000 a month fair payment for a worker in today’s times? I had put my daughter in a CBSE-affiliated school back in my native town in Haryana after the wages were revised in 2017 and also bought a life insurance policy. Now, I will have to pull my daughter out from the school,” said Rajneesh Rawal, who works as a security guard at a private firm in central Delhi.

After the notification, the minimum wages of unskilled workers were revised from ₹9,724 to ₹13,350 per month, for semi-skilled workers from ₹10,764 to ₹14,698 and for skilled labourers from ₹11,830 to ₹16,182.

“It is difficult to go back in time. It was only recently that we started getting a respectable amount for a month’s work,” said, Mohammad Aijaz, who works at a packaging unit in outer Delhi.

The HC had called the constitution of the committee “flawed”, saying it did not have representatives from all sectors.

The labour department is to frame a proposal to reconstitute the advisory committee including representatives from all stakeholders, said an official in the Delhi government, requesting anonymity.

“It was discussed that the advisory committee must be set up again for which a proposal is likely to be framed,” he said.

The proposal will be sent to the Delhi lieutenant governor Anil Baijal for approval, the officer added.

Disappointed with the judgment that came on August 4, Delhi labour minister Gopal Rai had said on August 7 the AAP government will approach the apex court in the matter. Rai had also said that the city government can adopt the Centre’s minimum wage structure, which has a higher rate of remuneration for the same category of workers.

Azad Hassan, working president (Delhi) of India’s National Trade Union Congress, said, his team had met the labour minister twice since the judgment seeking revision of wages. “We have now approached the L-G and the Central government to revise the minimum wages. We were told the labour department was likely to move the file for reconstituting the committee soon. However, all of this will take even this year away forcing workers to live on with the minimal wages,” said Hassan.

Despite repeated attempts, Rai was not available for comment.

First Published: Sep 09, 2018 01:55 IST