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President clears Delhi govt’s amendment in Minimum Wages Act: fine, jail term for violators



NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Delhi government’s proposed Bill to amend the Minimum Wages Act under which employers violating labour rules in the city will now face fine ranging from Rs 20,000-50,000 and jail term between one to three years.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwalsaid the amended law will act as a “strong deterrent” against the employers who do not pay full minimum wages.

The Department of Law, Justice and Legislative Affairs of the Delhi government has issued a notification, making it mandatory for employers to pay remuneration either electronically or through cheques, except in some special circumstances.

“Finally, Central Govt gives its approval after several months. This will act as a strong deterrent against those employers who do not pay full min wages. Delhi govt will take strong action against such people,” Kejriwal tweeted.

In March last year, Lt Governor Anil Baijal had approved the AAP government’s decision to hike by 37 per cent the minimum wages of unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers.

For an unskilled worker, the minimum wages is Rs 13,350 per month while for semi-skilled, it is Rs 14,698. The minimum wages for skilled persons is Rs 16,182 in the national capital.

In August last year, the Delhi Assembly had again passed “The Minimum Wages (Delhi) Amendment Act, 2017”, after the Centre had suggested the AAP dispensation to re-introduce the Bill with some changes in the Assembly. The first bill was tabled in 2015.

According to the notification issued on May 4, the court before which the prosecution complaint is made under Section 22 of the Act will dispose it of within a month from the date of filing.

The employer will upload the employee data on website or web portal in the manner as may be prescribed, the notification stated.

It stated that for the words “shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both”, the words “shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of three years, or with fine of fifty thousand rupees, or with both,” shall be substituted.

The notification also stated, “Principal Act, in its application to the National Capital Territory of Delhi, for the words “with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees”, the words “with imprisonment for a term of one year, or with fine twenty thousand rupees or with both” shall be substituted.

Asked about a pending matter pertaining to implementation of minimum wages in the Delhi High Court which had last year asked the city government not to take coercive against violators, a senior government official said that with the President’s assent, government will implement the provisions of the Bill.

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