About 55 lakh contractual workers in Delhi will benefit from the hike in minimum wages announced recently and approved by the Supreme Court. The minimum wage of Rs 14,842 per month is thrice more than the national minimum wage of Rs 4,628 per month. This is a step towards making the economy stable and improving the purchasing power of the poor, so that there is more production and employment opportunities.
The contractual worker will also be eligible for dearness allowance for the period April to September, along with a month’s salary as Diwali bonus. This is reported to be the highest ever hike in minimum wage given by any state in the country.
Unskilled workers will now receive Rs14,842 per month, while semi-skilled workers will be paid Rs16,341 per month. Skilled workers will enjoy Rs17,991per month.
The proposal for hike in salary was rejected by Delhi High Court in 2018, and the decision was challenged by the government in the Supreme Court. The minimum wages are fixed by the government on the basis of the average prices of food items and clothing, and other basic life necessities, such as housing, electricity, and so on.
In 2017, the government’s notification regarding the increase in minimum wages for workers, was challenged in the Delhi High Court by 44 Employers’ Associations. The High Court had then passed an order against Delhi government’s notification, following which the Supreme Court was approached to challenge the High Court order.