Goa State Industries Association (GSIA) President Damodar Kochkar on Wednesday said views of industries should be considered before revising the minimum wages.
In a press release, Kochkar said Labour and Employment Minister Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate appears to be in a hurry to revise minimum wages in the State to draw political mileage.
“Industry bodies have submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and the minister to have a scientific and realistic approach for increase in the wages. When minimum wages were revised at Rs 307 for unskilled workers in 2016, the government for the first time introduced payment of Variable Dearness Allowance (VDA) to take care of increase in Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Industrial Workers.”
“As onf April 2022, the VDA has increased to Rs 85 per day and, accordingly, minimum wage payable has increased to Rs 392 per day. The minister’s statement that there is no increase in wages for the last six years is totally wrong,” said Kochkar.
“In the past, in the absence of VDA, wages were increased to around 40-42%. We do appreciate that there is overall increase in cost of living. The industry bodies have, therefore, suggested that the minimum wage for unskilled workers can be Rs 307 + Rs 85 + Rs 43 = Rs 435, an increase of 42%. Consequently, minimum wage for other categories will also go up in similar proportion,” said Kochkar.
He claimed that wages are not the only cost for the businesses.
“In addition, businesses have to pay EPF, ESIC, LWF and bonus, which works to another Rs 95. Besides, cost of raw material, power, transport, etc. has gone up. Irrational increase in wages will force labour intensive units to close down.”
Kochkar said the GSIA was given to understand that many government departments do not pay EPF, ESIC contribution of their workers on contract and, hence, it does not know the actual cost.
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