Cabinet decision to revise minimum wage in Odisha sparks controversy

The BJD alleged the new BJP government got an old decision approved in the Cabinet in an attempt to divert attention from Tuesday’s Rath Yatra fiasco

Published - July 10, 2024 09:38 pm IST - BHUBANESWAR

Chief Minister of Odisha Mohan Charan Majhi (R) addresses a press conference along with Chief Secretary Manoj Ahuja after a Cabinet meeting at the Lok Seva Bhawan in Bhubaneswar on July 10, 2024.

Chief Minister of Odisha Mohan Charan Majhi (R) addresses a press conference along with Chief Secretary Manoj Ahuja after a Cabinet meeting at the Lok Seva Bhawan in Bhubaneswar on July 10, 2024. | Photo Credit: BISWARANJAN ROUT

The decision to increase minimum wages, taken by the Bharatiya Janata Party Government on Wednesday, has sparked controversy with the Opposition Biju Janata Dal claiming that the wage revision had already been notified by the previous government on March 14 this year.

The Cabinet meeting chaired by Odisha Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi has approved increase of wages of unskilled labourers to ₹450, semi-skilled to ₹500, skilled to ₹550 and highly skilled to ₹600 from ₹352, ₹392, ₹442 and ₹502 respectively.

Soon after Mr. Majhi announced hike in minimum wages, the BJD flashed the notification letter dated March 14, 2024 in which the Labour and Employee’s State Insurance Department clearly mentioned about wages revised previous Naveen Patnaik government.

“It is surprising that the new government, in its second cabinet meeting, has repeated the revised wage slabs, which had already been implemented by the Naveen Patnaik government just three months ago. Ironically, the current administration seems unaware of the programmes initiated by its predecessor,” Subash Singh, mayor of Cuttack Municipal Corporation and BJD’s labour union leader, said.

Mr. Singh said the government attempted to divert attention from the fiasco that had happened during the Rath Yatra in Puri on Tuesday by hastily announcing the revision in minimum wages, without referencing to old records.

The idol of Lord Balabhadra fell while the sevayats (traditional priests) were carrying it from the chariot to the Mausi Maa temple drawing condemnation from all quarters.

BJP spokesperson Anil Biswal, however, countered the BJD allegation saying, “The Naveen Patnaik government had taken decision to revise wage just before the elections. There was no seriousness in notification. The decision was not reflected in the budget.”

“It was the Naveen Patnaik government’s failure to revise wages at par with other State had led to migration of labourers from Odisha. The BJD should introspections on its labour policy,” said Mr. Biswal.

The State Cabinet on Wednesday approved that all landholding farmer’s families would be considered to avail financial assistance under PM-Kisan scheme as central guideline. A special saturation drive would be taken up in the State for inclusion of eligible beneficiaries.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.