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AAP govt approves around 37% hike in minimum wages

The Delhi government on Saturday approved a hike in the minimum wages for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled persons in the national Capital.

The Cabinet sanctioned about 37 percent increase as proposed by a 15-member committee set up by former Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung last year. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the committee's recommendations will be forwarded to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Monday for his approval.

An unskilled labour will now be entitled to a minimum wage of Rs 13,350 per month, up from Rs 9,724. For semi-skilled labourers, it has been revised from Rs 10,764 to Rs 14,698, while skilled labourers will get Rs 16,182, instead of the present Rs 11,830. Labour Minister Gopal Rai said that apart from housing, clothing and food, the committee took into consideration education, electricity and fuel prices before decided on the minimum wage.

"This is the first time in the country that revision of the minimum wages is proposed on the basis of a scientific method," said the Chief Minister.
Kejriwal said he would personally request Baijal to approve the hike. "It will be the biggest gift for workers on the occasion of Holi," he said.
Former LG Jung had appointed the committee that had five representatives each from the government, industry associations and labour unions.
Last year, the state government had first formed a panel that approved a 50 percent hike in the minimum wages.

But Jung had nullified it, arguing that the government did not take his permission before forming the panel. "There is a difference of Rs 600-700 between the recommendations of the two committees. We could have implemented the previous committee's recommendations, but we did not want any fight with former Lieutenant Governor," said Kejriwal.
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