New Delhi: Lamenting that not a single employer who denied minimum wages to workers has faced jail term, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said his government will bring in a law to enhance punishment for such violations and ensure that it is strictly implemented.
Addressing a labour day function at Shalimar Bagh, he launched the Shramik Vikas Mission which includes a slew of programmes for welfare of workers and announced revival of a helpline number 12789 for them.
“No one has gone to jail for not paying minimum wages to the workers even though we celebrate Labour Day every year… Corrupt employers will be finally punished by God after death but Delhi government will punish them before it,” he said.
Kejriwal highlighted the problems faced by the labourers and lack of enforcement of legal provisions to ensure minimum wages to them.
He announced that in July Delhi Assembly will bring about necessary changes in law to enhance the jail term and fine for non-payment of minimum wages to labourers by their employers and contractors.
Under the present law, there is a fine of Rs 500 and a jail term of six months for nonpayment minimum wages.
The Chief Minister also added that his government will open hospitals and schools in slum clusters within a year to cater to the poor and working class.
Delhi Labour minister Gopal Rai said that the city government was taking steps to ensure minimum wages to workers and pensioner benefits to unorganised sector workers under the national pension scheme.
“We are reviving helpline number -12789 ‘mazdoor helpline number’. The number is operational but calls made from some telecom providers are not getting connected so we are talking to the telecom companies and making this helpline functional.
“Through this helpline any worker can call us about non-payment of minimum wages, harassment and discrimination. Their identities will be kept a secret and we will take stringent step against offender,” Rai said.
He also announced that government will conduct inspections and raids to check if minimum wages are paid to the workers.