The Central government might hike the minimum wage under the Seventh Pay Commission to beyond the current Rs 18,000 in an effort to appease trade unions, who have threatened to go on strike from Monday. The Centre has referred a set of their demands to a committee that is looking into the commission’s recommendations, said Shiva Gopal Mishra, general secretary of the National Joint Council of Action, a collective of several government unions, which represents more than 33 lakh workers.
Mishra said they met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on June 30. According to him, Jaitley said the government will “try to rectify” some of their demands, of which one is the minimum wage issue. The unions want entry-level salaries to be increased to Rs 26,000.
Trade unions have been arguing that while the government announced a hike in minimum wage from Rs 7,000 to Rs 18,000, the actual change amounts to much less. KKN Kutty, national president of the Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers, told Livemint that an additional Dearness Allowance component means the minimum wage was already Rs 15,700, and so the new hike amounts to a mere Rs 2,300.