To woo labourers to Punjab, the state labour department has come with a few novel ideas. The industry, however, is not ready to accept the proposals.
Among other things, the department has proposed that minimum wages for labourers in Punjab be fixed at Rs 5,200 per month, excluding allowances like washing, uniform and transport. Moreover, a worker will get his first increment after a year and a promotion after every three years, irrespective of whether he performs or not.
When a worker will get his first promotion, he will become a semi-skilled labourer and his minimum wage increased to Rs 6,000 per month.
Later, when he becomes a skilled worker, his minimum wage will be hiked to Rs 7,200 per month. After nine years of service, he will be a highly skilled worker with a minimum wage of Rs 9,000 per month.
But the industrilalists are not keen on such proposals. Gurmeet Singh Kular, president of United Cycles Parts and Manufacturers Association (UCPMA), said: “A meeting was held between Labour Minister Surjit Kumar Jayani and a delegation of industrialists from Ludhiana and other cities. The minister, however, did not agree to our reasoning.
“The existing minimum wages in Punjab are Rs 4,200 per month and the department had agreed to increase it to Rs 4500 per month. But now, they have fixed it at Rs 5,200 and even automatic promotions after every three years. This will give a wrong signal to labourers. We will protest if the proposals were notified.”
When contacted, Jayani said: “The industry representatives have expressed their resentment. However, we have to listen to the workers as well. The final decision will be taken in a day or two. The notification is yet to come.”