New Delhi, July 12 : The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to Delhi government on a plea seeking implementation of revised minimum wage rates that will benefit over 60 lakh workers.
A division bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal sought the city government’s response on the PIL that also asked to increase the strength of the trained labour inspectors and other staff of the Labour Department and filling up of the vacancies as it posted the matter for hearing on August 8.
The PIL filed by advocate Ashok Agarwal also sought direction to Delhi government to increase the minimum wage rates up to Rs 15,173 in terms of the norms laid down by the Supreme Court.
Agarwal told the court the Delhi government has revised and fixed the minimum wages at an “unreasonably lower rate” which violated the fundamental right of the workers.
“The enforcement of the provisions of the minimum wages in Delhi is at all time low. Even the current minimum wages are not paid by the employer to the workmen and violation of labour laws and minimum wages is at full swing in absence of any check by the Delhi government,” said the petition.
The Delhi government failed to enforce the payment of minimum wages in Delhi has also, thereby, failed to prohibit the forced and bonded labour and begar at mass -scale in Delhi, it added.
Agarwal told the court: “The ground realities are very shocking. On average male worker gets Rs 6,000 per month and female worker gets Rs 5,000 per month whereas the statutory rate of minimum wages for an unskilled worker is Rs 13,584 per month.”
The petition noted that there were about 20 lakh factories and shops in Delhi which employed about 60 lakh workmen.