THE MINIMUM wages notified by the Delhi government a few months ago are “too little” and “inadequate” for workers, given the economic condition in the national capital, the Delhi High Court observed on Friday.
The court was hearing a group of traders, petrol dealers and restaurant owners, who had challenged the Delhi government’s notification of revised minimum wages. The Delhi government’s proposed hike — approved by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on March 3 — fixed minimum wages for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled labour at around Rs 13,350, Rs 14,698 and Rs 16,182 respectively from the previous Rs 9,724, Rs 10,764 and Rs 11,830. “Is it possible for an individual to sustain on Rs 13,000?” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra said.
Trade unions in the capital have been complaining that workers demanding the increased wages are being laid off in industrial areas across Delhi.
The bench remarked that “workmen were being discriminated against as the supply is more than the demand”. The court said that none of the petitioners would be able to say on affidavit that they were giving the benefits due to workers under the existing labour laws.
The bench told the employers to instead “take a more proactive role” and decide what should be the minimum wages if they were aggrieved by the wages fixed by the government, saying “charity begins at home”.
However, the court also ordered that no coercive action should be taken till September 11 against employers who do not implement the notification.
(With PTI inputs)