Following strong opposition by traders fearing shifting of business from Delhi, the AAP Government is planning not to enhance minimum wages for labourers from August 15.
Several trade leaders and organisations have met Delhi Labour Minister Gopal Rai, requesting him to reconsider the decision of enhancement of minimum wages. Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has also written to Rai, saying increase in wages is not sustainable and may see closure of many small and tiny enterprises and loss of employment will be the direct outcome.
“Further increase in wage may only force industry to migrate to the neighbouring States cost advantages. As you are aware industry has to pay social security and other benefits approximately 24 per cent over and above the wages. The paying capacity of the employers and competitiveness of the industry with regards to domestic and global markets should also be adequately factored in while raising the minimum wages,” the letter said.
According to sources, a high-level meeting was convened by chief secretary KK Sharma to discuss the issue. Sources said the proposal recommended by the Labour Department is not practical and it would lead shifting of business from Delhi to other States.
“Prices of food items were also obtained from different outlets, including Kendriya Bhandar, Mother Dairy and Safal, to examine and calculate the proposed increase in minimum wages,” officials of the Labour Department said.
“In order to realistically examine and fix minimum rates of wages for different category of workers, not only basic calorie needs of a workman but also other needs was included,” they claimed.
Currently, Delhi has the highest level of minimum wages among other neighbouring States with minimum wages for unskilled labour at Rs 9,568 per month, for semi-skilled labour at Rs.10,582 per month and skilled labour at Rs.11,622 per month.