Approval sent to Law and Justice Ministry for vetting

Labour and Employment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge has said the government would gazette the recommendations of the Wage Boards for journalists and other employees of newspapers and news agencies, approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday, as soon as possible and the approval had been sent to the Legislation section of the Law and Justice Ministry for vetting.

“It is only a matter of time. We will notify the decision as soon as possible once the Law Ministry returns the file,” he said talking to The Hindu from Bangalore on Friday. The Minister was unhappy that the efforts of his Ministry to get the Cabinet's nod for the recommendations had not been appreciated properly by the employees of media organisations.

Justice G.R. Majithia, who headed the Wage Boards, in its recommendation, has classified jobs into six groups and accordingly suggested six scales in each class of establishment.

Some of his recommendations approved by the Cabinet were:

The revised pay scale is based on the old basic pay plus Dearness Allowance admissible up to June, 2010 plus 30 per cent of the basic pay which is being given as an interim relief.

The revised rate of dearness allowance is to be computed on the basis of the average all-India Consumer Price Index Number for Industrial Worker (2001=100) for the preceding 12 months compiled by the Labour Bureau and will become operative with effect from July 1, 2010.

The revised pay comprises of the variable pay at the rate of 35 per cent for the employees working in the first four classes of newspaper establishments (first two classes of news agencies) and 20 per cent for the bottom four classes of newspaper establishments (bottom two classes for news agencies).

The variable pay should be added to the revised basic pay for calculation of all allowances. The rate of neutralisation of DA should be 100 per cent of basic pay for calculation of all the allowances.

The House Rent Allowance should be at the rate of 30 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 per cent and accordingly areas/cities should be classified into three categories i.e. X, Y and Z for this purpose.

The transport allowance should be 20 per cent, 10 per cent and 5 per cent in the respective areas defined as X, Y and Z. Night shift allowance should range between Rs.100 and Rs.50 for different classes or establishments.

The Awards as well as operational DA will be effective from July 1, 2010.

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