On I-Day AAP government to gift workers by hiking minimum wages: Rai

New Delhi: Delhi's Labour Minister Gopal Rai on Friday said that as a gift to labourers on the occasion of the 70th Independence Day the Delhi government will hike the minimum wages for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled labourers across the national capital. "In order to improve the life standards of labourers, the AAP government is ready to increase the minimum wages of the labourers. This will be our gift to the workers on the occasion of the 70th Independence Day," Rai told reporters here. He said that final decision on the percentage of hike will be taken only after the final report of a committee formed for this, but pressed further he said "Hike could be between 30 and 40 per cent". He said a decision to hike the minimum wages has been taken after reviewing the average cost incurred per family on food, accommodation, electricity, clothing and education.  To achieve this, the Delhi government under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 had constituted a high level 13-member tripartite body of representatives of employees (Shramik Vikas Sangathan, NMPS, CITU, AICTU, State commission), representatives of employers (CII/ FICCI/ DMRC/ PWD/ Assocham) and Government representatives/officers.  The committee headed by Secretary-cum-Commissioner (Labour) was notified on April 12 and held five meetings on May 16, June 17, July 4, 13 and 28.  "The committee has further constituted two sub-committee teams i.e. Team-A and Team-B which undertook a survey and collected prices of essential food items from various worker populated areas like Mangol Puri, Naraina, Narela, Okhla, Jhilmil Colony, and Wazirpur," Rai said.  "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," he 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.  "The existing minimum rates of wages in Delhi are Rs 9,568 for unskilled categories of workers, Rs 10,582 for semiskilled and Rs 11,622 for skilled categories of workers. Once enhanced rates of minimum wages are notified, the same will be followed by notification of Dearness Allowance (DA) in October, 2016," Rai added.