In a major relief to workers, the Delhi High Court said the revised minimum wages notified by the Delhi government a few months ago are “too little”. The Delhi HC observed that given the economic condition in the national capital, the fixed amount of wages are “inadequate” and asked employers to decide what should be the minimum wages, reported The Indian Express. The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal, on March 3, gave his approval to the Minimum Wages Bill. This decision of LG came after the approval of a 37-percent hike in the minimum wages for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled persons in the national capital by the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government. The report added that the decision made the beneficiaries unhappy and a group of traders, petrol dealers and restaurant owners knocked the door of court challenging the Delhi government’s notification of revised minimum wages.
As per the revised minimum wages, the amount for unskilled labourers fixed at Rs 13,350 from the previous Rs 9,724, whereas for semi-skilled labourers it has become Rs 14,698 instead of Rs 10,764 and for skilled labourers, it is fixed at Rs 16,182 instead of Rs 11,830, reported the Indian Express. Hearing the group of workers, a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra was quoted in the report asking, “Is it possible for an individual to sustain on Rs 13,000?”
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Meanwhile, trade unions in the national capital have been complaining that workers demanding increased wages are being laid off in industrial areas across Delhi. The bench, hearing the case, remarked that “workmen were being discriminated against as the supply is more than the demand.”
Listing to the case, the bench asked the employers to “take a more proactive role” for the befits of these workers, saying “charity begins at home”. It asked the employers to decide the amount of minimum wages if they were aggrieved by the wages fixed by the government. At the same time, the court also confirmed that there is no order for any coercive action to be taken until September 11 against employers who do not implement the notification.