55 lakh workers to benefit from minimum wages: Kejriwaltext_fields
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday, announced an increase in minimum wages, and said that around 55 lakh contractual workers in the national capital will be benefited from the increased wages decided by the government.
"Among various steps to revive the economy, financially aiding the poor and stabilizing the economy, this is an important step as it will increase the purchasing power of the poor, resulting in production which will further increase employment," Kejriwal said while addressing a press conference here.
"55 Lakh contractual workers will get the benefit due to the increase in minimum wages, which was recently approved by the Supreme Court. Supreme Court's judgement on minimum wages is due to our struggle," Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal also announced that the employees will also get dearness allowance for the months of April to September and a Diwali bonus of one month's salary.
Appreciating the decision, Kejriwal claimed it is the highest ever increase in minimum wages by any state in India and said that Delhi's minimum wage is three times more than the national minimum wage.
National minimum wage is Rs 4,628 per month while in Delhi, it is Rs 14,842 per month.
As per the latest notification, unskilled workers will now get Rs 14,842 per month, for semi-skilled workers, it is Rs 16,341 per month and for skilled workers, it will be Rs 17,991.
This came two weeks after the top court approved the Delhi government's notification to increase minimum wages. Outlining government struggle on the issue, Kejriwal welcomed the Supreme Court's decision and said that after the Delhi High Court rejected the proposal last year, the government revised its work on the entire issue and thereafter challenged the High Court decision in the top court.
In March 2017, the government had issued notification on the hike on minimum wages for workers, which was challenged in the Delhi High Court by 44 Employers' Associations.
The High Court passed an order against Delhi government's notification to increase minimum wages.
Kejriwal said that neither his government compromised with these associations nor lost the heart and approached the Supreme Court to challenge the High Court order.
In its order, the top court had said: "We allow the petitioner state (Delhi government) to take the draft notification to the logical conclusion and direct that till said notification comes into effect, the relationship shall be governed by and in terms of the notification dated March 3, 2017 as directed in the order of October 31, 2018. Once the notification is issued, the appropriate legal consequence and sequitur shall follow."
The minimum wages had been fixed by the government on the basis of the average prices of food items and clothing, and other basic life necessities like housing, electricity etc.