New Delhi: The Delhi cabinet on Thursday restored the increase in the minimum wages that was junked by the High Court on August 4, and approved a proposal to give a 10 per cent discount on metro cards used in state-run buses.
“Payment to those who have been directly employed on contract by the Delhi government, boards and corporations at minimum wage rates or those who have been employed by contractors in various works of the Delhi government shall continue to receive payments at rates prevailing before August 4,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told reporters here after the cabinet meeting.
The move comes after the Delhi High Court on August 4 quashed the Aam Aadmi Party government’s March 2017 notification fixing higher wages in the city.
With Thursday’s decision, the minimum wages of unskilled workers stand increased from Rs 9,724 to 13,896 per month, for semi-skilled workers from Rs 10,764 to Rs 15,296 and for skilled workers from Rs 11,830 to Rs 16,858.
These rates had come into effect on April 1, 2017, but were subsequently quashed by the High Court.
The High Court had said that the March 2017 notification that raised the minimum wages was completely flawed, and a decision taken in haste.
Sisodia said that the “Delhi government will also compensate the salaries as per the increased rates” to all those whose payment was either deducted or not given during the two months after the High Court order.
He asserted that the state government had “all the rights to give an amount above and beyond the minimum wage rates” in the national capital.
The state Chief Secretary has been mandated to ensure that every worker gets his money before October 31 so that he could celebrate Diwali with dignity.
The cabinet also approved the Transport Department’s proposal for a 10 per cent discount on fares for travellers using the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation card in DTC and cluster buses.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on January 8 launched a pilot project for implementation of Common Mobility Card, under which people could use metro cards in 200 DTC and 50 cluster buses.
Subsequently, the Common Mobility Card scheme was fully rolled out on August 24, but without any discount.
Sisodia was of the opinion that the use of metro cards in buses will not only curb pollution, but also limit expenditure of the government.
Using metro cards to realise the fares through Electronic Ticketing Machines will save costs that would otherwise be incurred on printing of tickets, stocking and then redistributing them, he said.