PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court has directed the K-P government to constitute a board within a month to determine the minimum wages for unskilled workers working in different industrial units of the province.
A bench of Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Muhammad Daud Khan issued the order to the government while hearing several connected petitions filed by owners of industrial units including Ferozsons Laboratories Limited, Bannu Woollen Mills and Ghazana Sugar Mills among others. The court also suspended the earlier order of the provincial government wherein it fixed the minimum wage for labourers at Rs15,000 per month.
Qazi Ghulam Dastagir and Abdul Latif Afridi, counsels for the petitioners, informed the court that the provincial government had fixed minimum monthly wages at Rs15,000 from earlier Rs12,000. The federal government had also fixed the salary at the lesser rate and other provinces paid the same, they contended.
Dastagir further informed the court that the provincial government had passed the Minimum Wages Act 2013 in the assembly under which this notification of an increase in the minimum salary was issued.
“Under Section 3 of the Minimum Wages Act 2013, the government is required to constitute a board comprising a chairman, one independent member, one member from the employers’ union of K-P, one to represent employers connected with the industry or trade and one to represent workers engaged in such industries,” Dastagir told the court.
The court was also told that the provincial government increased the salaries through a single order, placing an extra burden on the employers. The industrialists were not given any facilities in this regard, argued the counsels.
Dastagir said that on one hand the government was trying its best to curb child labour, and yet has increased salaries of those working in industrial units on the other hand.
The court disposed of the petitions with directions to the provincial government to constitute a board to determine the minimum wage for the workers of industrial units.
The court also told the provincial government its earlier order will remain suspended until it constitutes the board and determines the minimum wage and its recommendations.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2015.
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