Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that over 55 lakh labours working on contract in the national capital will continue to avail benefit from the increased minimum wage, which will help them to tackle with the "impact of the economic slowdown" in the country.
"In the last five years, we have taken several decisions for the welfare of the poor. Increasing the minimum wage is one of them. As many as 55 lakh people working on contract in Delhi will be benefitted," he said in a press conference here.
Kejriwal also said that Delhi has the highest minimum wage in the country.
"The Supreme Court recently approved the minimum wage we had increased. We had approached the top court after Delhi High Court had dismissed the minimum wage notification on a plea filed by a group of 44 traders' associations challenging the hike," he explained.
The Chief Minister asserted that the Delhi government had to struggle a lot to hike the minimum wage.
"When we came to power, the minimum wage was Rs 8,632 for unskilled labours, which has now been increased to 14,842. The same was Rs 9,542 for semi-skilled labours and is now at Rs 16,341. Skilled labours used to get Rs 10,478 as a minimum wage but they now get Rs 17,991," Kejriwal said.
He also mentioned that the minimum wage was increased for non-matriculates, matriculates and graduates from 9,542, 10,478 and 11,414 to 16,341, 17,991 and 19,572 respectively.
Arguing that funds in the lower sections of society trickles down to create larger impacts, he said, "When poor people have money they go out and buy things, which creates demand, increases production and eventually create jobs."
"It will help tackle the economic slowdown in the country," the chief minister said.
He also said that the Delhi government has taken strict actions to ensure the new minimum wage is followed.
"We removed 1,373 contractors working for the government for not paying minimum wage. Cases were also filed against over 100 persons for incidents pertaining to not paying minimum wages," Kejriwal added.
Kejriwal also urged the traders to follow the minimum wage notification assuring them that it will benefit everyone in the long run.