EDITORIAL POSTAL CRUSADER: JANUARY-2016
MINIMUM WAGE STILL A DREAM FOR WORKERS
68 years have passed after independence of India. But the need based minimum wage still appears a dream for working class. After reaching a tripartite agreement in 15th Indian Labour Conference in 1957 a scientific formula called as Dr. Akroid formula based on minimum needs of a workers to survive and work, was accepted. Based on this formula all Central trade unions and independent federations are struggling since long to achieve the demand of minimum wage.
This time also National council JCM demanded Rs. 26000 as minimum wage to a lowest class employees based on Dr. Akroid formula as on 01.01.2014 taking the commodity prices as Rs. 11344. The rates were taken as an average price of actual market from various cities throughout the India and actual receipts obtained from the shops and consumer stores were also produced as evidence. After adding component of housing, children education and social obligations it comes to 26000.
But the pay commission has recommended Rs. 18000 as minimum wage taking 12 monthly average of commodity prices quoted by Labour bureau Shimla which is totally contrary to Dr. Akroid Formula and the figures are imaginary not realistic.
The pay commission has also reduced the component of expenses on social obligation and children education as 15% contrary to the Supreme Court judgment of 25% on the plea that the employees are paid children Education allowance separately. The Children Education allowance is not fully reimbursed and expenses on education have increased heavily after liberalization of the education sector. The housing component has also been reduce by the pay commission stating that employees are paid HRA separately. House Rent Allowance is not full compensation of expenditure incurred on rent of accommodation obtained by an employee Earlier 3rd Pay commission has given 7.5% as the factor for housing.
Thus this 7th CPC has drastically cut the minimum wage.
The website of Agriculture Ministry also maintains the record of prices of commodities which are required to compute the minimum wage. Though these prices also vary from the real retail market. But if these prices had been taken by the pay commission as an all India average of the prices as on 01.07.2015. It will work out Rs. 10810. Thus the computation of minimum wage will arrive as Rs. 19880. After adding 25% for arriving at MTS scale it will come as Rs. 24850 and to convert it as on 01.01.2016 after adding 3% as suggested by 7th CPC. The final computation will come as 25596 when rounded off it shall be Rs. 26000/-
Without modification of minimum wage, no improvement is expected in the higher pay scales. Therefore it requires recomputation and revision. If it is revised consequently the fitment formula, multiplication factor and pay matrix will have to be revised.
Thus it is the urgent need to revise the minimum wage.
The NJCA, Confederation and NFPE have given charter of demands to the Government of India seeking modification in so many demands failing which all Central Government Employees will be compelled to go on indefinite strike from 1st week of March-16.