Prez clears bill on minimum wages

Jail term, fine ranging from Rs 20K-50K for violators.

New Delhi: Presi-dent Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Delhi government’s proposed bill to amend the Minimum Wages Act under which employers violating labour rules in the city will now face fine ranging from Rs 20,000-50,000 and jail term betwe-en one to three years.

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the amended law will act as a “strong deterrent” against the employers who do not pay full minimum wages.

The department of law, justice and legislative affairs of the Delhi government has issued a notification, making it mandatory for employers to pay remuneration either electronically or through cheques, except in some special circumstances.

“Finally, Central Govt gives its approval after several months. This will act as a strong deterrent against those employers who do not pay full min wages. Del govt will take strong action against such people,” Mr Kejriwal tweeted.

In March last year, lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal had approved the AAP government’s decision to hike by 37 per cent the minimum wages of unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers.

For an unskilled worker, the minimum wages is Rs 13,350 per month while for semi-skilled, it is Rs 14,698. The minimum wages for skilled persons is Rs 16,182 in the national capital.

In August last year, the Delhi Assembly had again passed “The Minimum Wages (Delhi) Amendment Act, 2017”, after the Centre had suggested the AAP dispensation to re-introduce the bill with some changes in the Assembly. The first bill was tabled in 2015.

According to the notification issued on May 4, the court before which the prosecution complaint is made under Section 22 of the Act will dispose it of within a month from the date of filing.

Asked about a pending matter pertaining to impl-ementation of minimum wages in the Delhi HC which had last year asked the city government not to take coercive against violators, a senior official said that with the President’s assent, government will implement the provisions of the bill.

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