Delhi Government recently proposed to raise the minimum wage of an unskilled person from Rs 9,568 to Rs 14,052. Besides, wages for semi-skilled and skilled people will increase from Rs 10,582 to Rs 15,471 and from Rs 11,622 to 17,033. The MSME entrepreneurs, from Delhi are strongly opposing the proposal and reached out to Delhi’s LG, Mr Najeeb Jung.
NEW DELHI: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi Government’s decision to increase the minimum labour wage in the national capital has made the industrial sector really annoyed. The subject of the letter written on behalf of MSMEs to Lt Governor Najeeb Jung stating, “Illegal notification issued by the Government of NCT of Delhi.” shows how agitated the industrialists here are.
In its letter, the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an association of industry in the National Capital Region, apprised Jung of its pending writ petition in the Delhi High Court challenging the constitution of the wage committee following which the Lieutenant Governor had sent the file back to the Delhi government earlier this month.
Each State can fix its own minimum wage level for industries based on spending estimates for a working class family on 2,700 calories of food per person, 72 yards clothes, minimum housing rent and education and light and fuel, as prescribed by the Indian Labour Conference in 1957.
The Apex Chamber wrote to Jung opposing the calculations adopted by the Delhi government to arrive at the proposed minimum wages. The State has proposed that unskilled workers should now get at least Rs. 14,052 a month from Rs. 9,568 at present, semi-skilled workers must be paid Rs. 15,471 as opposed to Rs. 10,582 and Rs. 17,033 a month for skilled workers, up from Rs. 11,622 now payable. Industry has argued that the food and beverages items for breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner meals taken into account to compute the minimum wage level for workers in Delhi had much higher calorific value of 3,447 calories than the minimum requirement of 2,700 calories per adult per day.
The expenditure on food, which constitutes around 65 per cent of the wage component, was overestimated, the industry body claimed.
It also said, “…the Legislative scheme as contemplated under Section 9 of the Minimum Wages Act has been completely violated in as much as it requires as equal number of representation of employers’ and employees’ and independent persons not exceeding1/3rd of its total numbers.”
It said Composition of Committees etc – Each of the Committees, sub-committees and advisory board shall consist of persons to be nominated by the appropriate Government representing employers and employees in Scheduled employments, who shall be equal in number, and independent persons not exceeding one third of its total number of members; one of such independent person shall be appointed the Chairman by the appropriate government.
Even AAP’s 700-member trade wing publicly opposing the move, saying it would compel industry to shift from Delhi to neighbouring states to cut costs, couldn’t make Kejriwal re-think about his decision.
It seems AAP is going to face strong agitation from the industrial fraternity if it implements the minimum wage hike plan announced by it.