Amid rising inflation, Delhi govt hikes workers’ wages | Latest News Delhi


The Delhi government on Thursday increased the monthly wages of unskilled, semi-skilled, and skilled workers in the Capital to help them tide over rising inflation, it said in a statement.

The minimum wages  were last hiked in October 2022. (Representative image/HT Archive)

The new rates will be applicable as of April 1, and labour minister Raaj Kumar Anand has directed all employers to provide as per the increased rate.

The monthly wages of skilled workers has been increased by 546, from the existing 20,357 to 20,903; the salary of semi-skilled workers has been increased by 494, from the existing 18,499 to 18,993; while the unskilled workers will see an increase of 442 per month, from 16,792 to 17,234.

The minimum wages were last revised in October 2022.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and labour unions slammed the move, accusing the AAP of periodically increasing the minimum wage, but then not ensuring that this amount is paid by employers.

India’s retail inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), eased to 5.66% — the lowest in 15 months — on the back of a cooling in food and fuel prices, data released earlier this month showed, but the annual number stood at 6.7%, the highest since 2013-14, when it was 9.3%.

Speaking about the hike in wages, minister Anand said the government took the step, keeping in mind the interests of Delhi’s working class.

“This hike will provide relief to the working class, who face the brunt of inflation. Every section of society has been affected economically due to Covid-19… Along with this, due to inflation, the ever-increasing prices of everyday items have broken the back of the general public. In such a situation, we hope that the increase in the minimum wage by the Delhi government will help the labourers,” he said.

The government also increased the salaries of supervisors and clerical employees in Delhi. According to the new rates, the monthly salary of non-matric employees has been increased by 494, from 18,499 to 18,993. Similarly, the monthly salary of matriculation pass and non-graduate employees has been increased nu 546, from 20,357 to 20,903. The monthly salary of graduate employees and labourers with higher educational qualifications has been increased by 598 — from 22,146 to 22,744.

Anand said the minimum wage of workers in Delhi is the highest in the country. “The Arvind Kejriwal government periodically increases the dearness allowance every six months to give relief to all the workers of Delhi. This decision of the Delhi government will benefit unskilled, semi-skilled, skilled and other workers in all scheduled employment categories. People working on minimum wages in the unorganised sector should also benefit from dearness allowance, which is usually given to state and central government employees,” Anand said.

Thaneshwar Dayal Adigaur, secretary of the Delhi Asangathit Nirmaan Mazdoor Union, a city-based labour union, said the hike in wages was a “joke”.

“At present, considering the inflation rate, the nominal increase in the minimum wages announced by the Delhi government is a kind of a joke… It is also a bitter truth that the minimum wage fixed by the government is not provided to any employee by most organisations or employers. Even workers working in government departments do not get it.The government should strengthen the mechanism to effectively implement wage hikes,” Adigaur said.

Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva accused the AAP government of perpetuating a farce. “The situation is such a farce that those enlisting for jobs on the Delhi government’s own portal do not offer these prescribed minimum wages. Even some of the Delhi government’s own contractual employees, including sanitation workers, are earn below the minimum wage,” he said.

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