Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said the government has accepted the advisory board recommendations and hiked the minimum wage for semi-skilled non-agricultural workers to Rs 350 a day from Rs 246, reported ANI. Jaitley added that states are bound to pay this amount and can offer more, if they wish to.
However, trade and labour unions – whose key demands included a was minimum wage revision – have refused to call off their all-India strike on September 2. They argued that states like Delhi and Karnataka already offer more than Rs 350 a day, reported NDTV. Tapan Sen of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions said, "The announcement on daily wages means only status quo. No major demand has been accepted."
The unions have called the strike to protest against the Centre for not protecting workers' interests. Banks, government offices and factories across the country will remain shut on Friday and public transport may also be off roads in some states.
Of the 12 demands that they have been pressing for since September 2015, the unions want the Centre to tighten foreign direct investment rules in insurance and defence sectors. According to them, relaxing FDI rules in these sectors may compromise national security. Jaitley, however, said the government will not consider this demand. Among a slew of announcements, Jaitley also said that Central employees will soon get their bonuses that have been due for two years.