The Delhi government today approved an around 37-per cent hike in the minimum wages for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled persons in the national capital.
Announcing the Cabinet’s decision here, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said his government has cleared all recommendations of a 15-member committee set up by former Lt Governor Najeeb Jung last year to revise the minimum wages.
This is the second time the AAP government has approved an increase in the minimum wages. The former LG had in September last year declared the recommendations of a government-appointed as “null and void”, saying the AAP dispensation did not seek his prior approval to form the panel.
Kejriwal said the committee’s recommendations will be sent to Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Monday and that he himself will meet the LG and request him to give his nod at the earliest so that workers are benefited.
As per the Cabinet’s decision, the minimum wages for unskilled persons will be Rs 13,350 per month against the existing Rs 9,724 per month. For semi-skilled and skilled persons, it will increase from Rs 10,764 to Rs 14,698 and from Rs 11,830 to Rs 16,182 per month respectively.
“This is the first time in the country that revision of the minimum wages is proposed on the basis a scientific method. I will meet the LG next week and request him to give his approval to the recommendations.
“I hope the LG will clear them next week as we have followed all procedures. It will be the biggest gift for workers on the occasion of Holi,” the CM said at a press conference at his official residence in Civil Lines area.
The government-appointed committee had approved a 50 per cent increase in the minimum wages — Rs 14,052 for unskilled person, Rs 15,471 for semi-skilled and Rs 17,033 for skilled person per month.
“There is a difference of Rs 600-700 between the recommendations of the two committees. We could have implemented the previous committee’s recommendations, but we did not want any fight with former Lt Governor.
“We would have made some changes in the recommendations of second committee but we avoided any hurdles in implementing the cabinet decision and in view of this, we have approved the recommendations without any changes,” he said.
Labour Minister Gopal Rai said that earlier, the minimum wages used to be decided on the basis of three points –housing, clothing and food. But the committee, which held seven meetings, has also included education, electricity and fuel considering their market prices.
The former LG-appointed committee consists of five representative each from government, industry associations and labour unions.