GCCI calls for withdrawal of hike in minimum wages

The Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday demanded that the state government withdraw the recent hike in minimum wages for workers affiliated to 49 different industrial sectors.

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published:February 28, 2009 2:26 am

Industrialised state continues to offer one of the lowest salaries in India

The Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) on Wednesday demanded that the state government withdraw the recent hike in minimum wages for workers affiliated to 49 different industrial sectors.

GCCI said it will cause an additional burden of Rs 3,200 crore on trade and industry in the state. The state government had announced the hike with effect from February 11,2009. The 49 sectors include automobile workshop,brick manufacturing,construction works,cement industry,and cotton and textile Industry among others.

But a close comparison between the minimum wages in Gujarat and in the four so-called ‘BIMARU’ states of Bihar,Madhya Pradesh (MP),Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh (UP) reveals that even after the hike,the minimum wages in Gujarat just match up with those in UP.

What is more interesting is that before the hike,the wages in Gujarat were comparable to those in Rajasthan.

So while the GCCI always prided itself in claiming that Gujarat was one of the most industrialised states in the country,it continued to pay its workers one of the lowest wages in the country.

GCCI president Rupesh Shah said,“Either the government must reduce the hike or we will have to retrench the workers.” He didn’t comment on the issue of the working class being the hardest hit,as well as being the most vulnerable in the prevailing economic crisis.

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