Centre’s minimum wages scheme exact copy of ours: AAP Minister

New Delhi: A day after announcing that the Delhi government will adopt the Centre’s scheme on minimum wages, Delhi Labour Minister Gopal Rai said on Friday that the central scheme is a replica of Delhi’s scheme whose notification was quashed by the High Court.

“We launched the scheme in March. In April, the Centre launched its own minimum wages scheme based exactly on the formula we used,” Rai said on the last day of the Assembly monsoon session.

He said that implementation of the Delhi government’s scheme has been delayed not just due to the court order but it was a result of a conspiracy by the Bharatiya Janata Party and its “anti-labour thinking”.

“While our notification on the minimum wages was called completely flawed by the High Court, the Centre’s scheme has elicited no objections.

“By incessantly obstructing our scheme’s implementation, the Centre delayed the welfare of the poor labourers. This is just a conspiracy by the BJP, an anti-labour party, to give boost to only industrialization and ignore labourers,” the Aam Aadmi Party leader said.

He said that the Arvind Kejriwal government is discussing a proposal to stop exploitation of contractual/outsourced labourers through government intervention.

On Thursday, Rai met trade union leaders and announced that the Delhi government will adopt the Centre’s scheme on minimum wages to ensure higher wages than what the Delhi government’s scheme would have provided.

“Under the central scheme, skilled workers will get approximately Rs 17,400 per month as against Rs 16,800 under the Delhi government scheme,” the Minister had said.

Unskilled workers will get Rs 14,300 compared with Rs 13,800 under the Delhi government’s scheme.

The Delhi High Court on August 4 had struck down the government’s March notification on higher minimum wages for workers in Delhi as “unconstitutional”.

The High Court order had come on several PILs, including one filed by Social Jurist, a civil rights group, which pleaded that the hike in wages was unreasonably low and as such violated the workers’ fundamental right to life.