Govt: Accept pay cuts to save jobs
Accept salary cuts to keep the pink slips away — was the government’s message to the industry and labour unions on Friday. “Jobs must be protected even if it means some reduction in compensation,” said External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee — who also holds charge of the finance ministry — speaking at the Indian Labour Conference in New Delhi.
His attempt to blunt the impact of the crisis comes in the backdrop of an official study that revealed five lakh jobs had been lost during the October to December quarter.
Mukherjee and Labour Minister Oscar Fernandes, speaking at separate venues, also sought to reassure the country’s workforce of the government’s earnestness in taking steps to ease the impact of the deepening global crisis.
Responding to concerns of Lok Sabha members led by CPI member Gurudas Dasgupta regarding large scale retrenchment and wage cuts Fernandes acknowledged that the study’s estimate did not reflect the full magnitude of the problem. The Commerce Ministry officials have signalled that 10 lakh jobs may have already been lost.
Fernandes said the government was looking at extending the employment guarantee scheme to Urban areas.
For the uninitiated, Dhan Mill Compound, a former granary and a cluster of warehouses, has morphed into the city’s modish food, fashion, design and lifestyle destination. Its streets are lined with art cafes, home décor outlets, ateliers, art galleries, pottery studios, dance halls and high-end boutiques, whose facades and interiors are as interesting and experimental as the wares they deal in. Interestingly, all of these fancy establishments are housed in re-purposed warehouse buildings, which still have metal roofs.
According to a Delhi government official, a break-up of the total jobs, including the list of employers and the number of people they hired, will be shared “in a couple of days”. Notably, the government portal was launched by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on July 27, 2020, to help entry-level and blue-collar job seekers connect with employers at a time when the Covid-19 induced lockdown left many people unemployed.
“Manufactures, and start-ups which are working on alternatives to single-use plastic have to pay more GST for raw material. Hence, the Delhi government will write to the Centre and request a reduction in GST rates,” Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai said.
Safdarjung, Delhi’s base weather station, recorded 0.1mm of rainfall between 8:30am and 5:30pm on Sunday. The Capital recorded 1.9mm of rainfall on Saturday and 117.2mm on Friday, making the monthly total 119.2mm so far. The normal monthly average for July is 210.6mm, said weather experts.
Monsoon elevates Adam Khan’s tomb into an emergency sanctuary for passersby (and dogs) speared by sudden showers. Perched atop a Mehrauli hillock, the monument overlooks the Qutub Minar, which appears totally bechara and defenceless in the heavy rain.