Minimum wage hike: Traders' body opposes Delhi govt move, demands rollback

Traders' body CAIT on Tuesday opposed the Delhi government's move to increase minimum wages and demanded a roll back of the decision, saying it will prove to be a major financial burden on traders and employers in the city.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has sent a communication to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on this issue and said that the Delhi government has taken such an important decision without taking the traders and employers of Delhi into confidence. It said such a "unilateral decision" will put much higher financial pressure on traders and employers in Delhi.

CAIT said on behalf on Delhi traders, it has lodged a "strong protest against such unjustified, arbitrary, unilateral and uncalled for increase in minimum wages".

Around 55 lakh workers in the city will benefit from the increased minimum wages that have been notified by the Delhi government following the Supreme Court's recent order, Kejriwal said on Monday.

Addressing a press conference here, Kejriwal said employees will also get dearness allowance for the months of April to September, besides a Diwali bonus of one month's salary.

He said 44 employers' associations had filed a petition against the Delhi government's previous notification to increase minimum wages.

Later, the high court struck down the notification and the government challenged it in the Supreme Court, the chief minister added.

He said Delhi has the highest minimum wages in the country.

The enhanced minimum wages for unskilled workers have been fixed at Rs 14,842 per month, for semi-skilled workers at Rs 16,341 per month and for skilled workers at Rs 17,991 per month.

The government has removed 1,373 contractors so far for not paying minimum wages to their workers.

CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that while fixing the said minimum wages, the Delhi Government did not held any consultation with traders and it appears that neither the impact of such increase on trade of Delhi has been assessed.

"The Delhi trade which has been acknowledged as the largest distribution centre of goods in the country is already reeling under an unprecedented slowdown and the traders are finding it difficult to survive in the business and the steep hike in minimum wages will result into unnecessary huge financial load on the traders," Khandelwal said.

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