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Trade unions meet Arun Jaitley, demand increase in minimum wage

LiveMint logoLiveMint 06-06-2014 Prashant K. Nanda

New Delhi: Leaders of all central trade unions on Friday met finance minister Arun Jaitley and demanded the minimum wage for industrial workers be raised to at least a uniform `15,000 a month. They also asked the government to push investment in the infrastructure sector to create more jobs.

In a 10-point joint charter of demands, the trade unions, including those affiliated to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, opposition the Congress and Left parties, also called for social security schemes like health insurance and old age allowances to be extended to people below the poverty line.

“The plan and non-plan expenditure should be increased in the budget to stimulate jobs creation and guarantee consistent income to people,” the charter said.

“Minimum wage linked to Consumer Price Index must be guaranteed to all workers…It should not be less than `15,000 per month,” said D.L. Sachdeva, secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress.

At the meeting, part of the regular pre-budget consultations, they opposed any move to allow foreign direct investment in crucial sectors like defence production, railways, education, health and media .

Jaitley said skill development would be given priority so that more and more trained workers join the labour force. He said the government will consider the trade unions’ 10-point charter while formulating the budgetary proposals, the finance ministry said in a statement.

The trade unions also demanded that concrete steps be taken to recover huge accumulated unpaid tax arrears, which have already crossed `5 trillion on direct and corporate tax account alone, the finance ministry said.

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