Ahead of the Assembly elections, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday doubled the minimum wages of workers employed in 10 lakh shops and establishments. The move, state’s labour department officials said, is likely to benefit around one crore labourers.
As per norms, minimum wages are expected to be revised every five years following recommendations from the Maharashtra Minimum Wages Advisory Board. However, labour department officials said, this is the first time in nine years that the wages have been revised.
As per the revised wages, in municipal corporation limits the wages have been increased from Rs 5,800 to 11,632 for skilled workers, from Rs 5,400 to Rs 10,856 for semi-skilled workers and from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,021 for non-skilled workers.
In the municipal council limits, it has been increased from Rs 5,500 to Rs 11,036 for skilled workers, from Rs 5,100 to Rs 10,260 for semi-skilled workers and from Rs 4,700 to Rs 9,425 for non-skilled workers.
In the remaining part of the state, it has been increased from Rs 5,200 to Rs 10,440 for skilled workers, from Rs 4,800 to Rs 9,664 for semi-skilled workers and from Rs 4,400 to Rs 8,828 for non-skilled workers.
Raghunath Kuchik, chairman of the Maharashtra Minimum Wages Advisory Board, said the wages have been doubled though the decision was pending for nine years. “Also, the wages have been increased as per the norms and considering all the factors. Workers may be eligible for the revision of minimum wages again in next one or two year,” Kuchik said.
DL Karad, state president of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), however, has termed the decision as an injustice. “We had demanded minimum wages of Rs 18,000, but the government seems to have not considered it. The same amount was considered by the government for fourth class employees while giving Seventh Pay Commission. We demand that the government should reconsider the decision,” said Karad.