Court keeps minimum wage at Rs25,000 in Sindh

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Pakistani rupee hits all-time low against US dollar
Pakistani rupee hits all-time low against US dollar
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The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday upheld the government of Sindh’s decision of keeping the minimum wage rate at Rs25,000 a month, citing that the provincial government was competent enough to fix, announce and declare the minimum wage, reports Tribune.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Democratic Workers Federation Secretary General Liaquat Ali Sahi said that the decision of the provincial court reflected the needs and rights of millions of labourers in the province.

“If the state institutions take decisions in the light of the Pakistan’s constitution, to ensure the provision of basic rights to the workers, then there is no reason why the problems of the workers could not be resolved,” he said.

He was of the view that public and private sectors violated the laws of the country by depriving the working class of its basic rights. He recalled that in year 2000, the salaries of unskilled workers did not increase at all.

He pointed out that workers had demanded the government of Sindh to set the minimum wage at Rs30,000 under the Minimum Wage Board Act however the government issued a notification of Rs25,000, he added.

According to Advocate Zaheer Minhas, the court declared the government as competent authority to fix, announce, and declare the minimum wages.

The opposing parties had argued that the provincial government took the decision without proper consultation with the Minimum Wage Board.

“The recommendations made by the Minimum Wage Board are not binding on the government,” he said.

The court further declared that female workers should be paid a minimum wage equal to male counterparts in the same category. The court fixed minimum hourly wage at Rs120.

“The decision is yet to be discussed with the Minimum Wage Board and the final notification will be issued and enforced after considering recommendations of the board officials,” he said. “The government will not restart the process from the beginning rather, it will treat the current notification as the one inviting objections.”

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Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (Unisame) President Zulfikar Thaver was of the view that minimum wage of Rs25,000 per month would add to inflationary pressure in the country.

“Industrialists will not bear this burden rather, they will pass it on to customers in form of hike in product cost,” he said.

Commodity prices would jump further because wages are one of the factors of production besides land, machine, capital and others, Thaver said.

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