Delhi government approves 50% hike in minimum wages, AAP’s traders’ wing unhappy

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party government on Wednesday approved the revision of minimum wages by about 50 per cent in the national capital but the ruling party’s traders’ wing voiced unhappiness over the decision.

“Increasing the minimum wages in Delhi by about 50 per cent is an economically sound step. By this measure the money will reach directly to the poor,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, addressing a press conference after the cabinet meeting.

Kejriwal said the AAP government was working for the betterment of the poor and common people as this was the first time any government had increased the minimum wages by 50 per cent.

“Lowest strata of society is worst affected by the burgeoning prices of essential commodities. It is responsibility of a sensible government to take care of the needs of the least privileged section of the society,” he said.

After the cabinet’s approval the minimum wages in Delhi for unskilled workers will increase from Rs 9,568 to Rs 14,052 per month, while for semi-skilled worker it will rise from Rs 10,582 to Rs 15,471, and skilled worker from Rs 11,622 to Rs 17,033.

Kejriwal on the occasion of the 70th Independence Day on Monday announced that minimum wages in Delhi would go up by about 50 per cent. He had also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to implement this throughout the country.

The Chief Minister said the development model of the previous governments which was based on trickle down theory has failed.

“With the development model based on trickle down theory the rich got richer and the poor became poorer,” he said.

Kejriwal said the decision to hike the minimum wages has been taken after reviewing the average cost incurred per family on food, accommodation, electricity, clothing and education.

However the AAP’s trade wing was not happy with the decision and feared that the survival of the small industries will become difficult in the national capital.

“All the traders and industrialists will meet the Chief Minister over the issue. Hiking minimum wages by 50 per cent will force small industries to shift to neighbouring states as they would get cheap labour there,” convenor of AAP’s traders wing Brijesh Goel told IANS.

Goel ruled out the possibility of any strike over the issue.

“Minimum wages were already high in Delhi as compared to other states, and with this decision it will be doubled. We are not going on any strike but we will meet Kejriwal over the issue,” he said.