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Calculated monthly, the minimum wage announced by the Calculated monthly, the minimum wage announced by thegovernment comes to Rs 9,100 minimum income (for 26 days),which is way below the unions’ demand of Rs 18,000 a month. Initially, the unions had demanded Rs 15,000 as minimummonthly income for daily wagers but the demand was revisedafter the government accepted the recommendations of the 7thPay Commission. Asked whether this will be a benchmark wage for theentire country, Labour Secretary Shankar Aggarwal said this isfor workers in central sphere and states can fix a minimumwage lower or higher than this rate. Explaining further, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreyasaid an amendment in the Minimum Wage Act is required forfixing a universal minimum wage and an initiative has beentaken in this direction. Apart from increasing the minimum wage, government hasalso decided to pay bonus for 2014-15 and 2015-16 to centralgovernment employees based on the revised norms, which willhave an annual financial implication of Rs 1,920 crore. It has also assured that the amendment in the payment ofBonus Act will be implemented strictly and it will support thecause of unions in high courts and the Supreme Court. Dattatreya said 97 cases regarding implementation ofamendments in Payment of Bonus Act are pending in 14 HighCourts and the Supreme Court. The government is trying to get stay orders vacated forimplementation of changes in Payment of Bonus Act, he said. Of the 12 demands put forth by the trade unions, only 8are related to labour issues and the government is working onseven of them, he added. The government also said that it will issue advisories tostates for ensuring completion of trade union registrationwithin 45 days. Jaitley said registration of contract workers and theirstaffing agencies is mandatory and states will be advised tostrictly implement them. Errant contractors will face appropriate action forviolation of law, he warned. The issue of giving social security benefit to theunorganised sector (like Anganwadi, mid-day meal, Ashavolunteers) will be examined by a committee which will submitits report at the "earliest". PTI RNK DP NKD KKS CSBJ


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