Why not pay IAS officers too based on calories: Kejriwal

New Delhi: Taking a dig at bureaucrats, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said IAS officers too should be paid on the basis of the calories they require if this rule was applicable to labourers.

Stressing that a labourer’s minimum monthly wage in Delhi which is Rs 13,500 today was Rs 9,500 earlier, he said the committee which studied the wage hike decided that labourers needed 2,700 calories a day.

“I told them that a worker won’t be paid based on calories. He is a human, not an animal… He has to educate his children, buy clothes… You can pay IAS officers based on their caloric needs, not labourers,” he told a meeting of the Delhi Workers Conference here on the occasion of May Day.

Relations between the AAP government and the bureaucracy have been tense since the alleged beating up of Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash by some Aam Aadmi Party MLAs.

Kejriwal said that a committee of officers as well as representatives of labourers and contractors was formed to study the matter of low wages but it didn’t get Lt Governor Anil Baijal’s approval.

“He (Baijal) complained that his permit was not asked for before forming it. We said we are asking now,” the Chief Minister said, adding that after the Lt Governor’s rejection, the same committee was formed with the same members as earlier.

“They held meetings and it took six more months to increase the (labourers’) wages.”

Also noting that many contractors were not paying the labourers fully, he said he was warning them not to do so. “… Improve yourself or we know how to deal with you.”

Attacking the Lt Governor, Kejriwal said that he has read about several revolutions, but never about such “Hitlershahi” (dictatorship).

He alleged that rejecting the proposal to set up the committee to study labourers’ wages exposed Baijal’s pride. “He was doing this because he was drunk on power. It made me angry but I was helpless.”

Highlighting the works done under his rule in the fields of education, health and amenities like electricity and water, he said that his government did in Delhi was considered impossible.

“They used to say contract (labourers) can not be made permanent. We will do that as well,” he said.

“One class that is very happy with us is the poor class.”

He urged the labour class to educate their children.

“We don’t want your kids to become labourers when they grow up. We want for them to become doctors, engineers and advocates that is why we are working hard on the education system.

“I urge you people to send your kids to school. Education till class 12 is free. After class 12, you can take government loan without mortgaging anything. That loan will be repaid by the child after getting a job.”

“Don’t send them to work thinking they will make some money,” he said.

He also noted that his AAP was formed out “of a very big revolution against corruption and injustice”.

“We won because of the poor, and the labourers. They are the ones who voted for us.

“BJP, and Congress say that AAP is a party of the poor, that they only think about the poor 24X7. Yes, we are a party of the poor and we are proud of it. We are proud that we are not a party of Nirav Modi, Ambani or Vijay Mallya,” he said.