Rs. 25,000 to be paid to unskilled workers, SHC orders
The Sindh High Court (SHC) has directed the provincial government to evaluate and negotiate salaries for unskilled employees or labourers. The court has ordered that the unskilled worker be given a minimum salary of Rs25,000 per month till the talks are completed.
The judgement was issued by the court on Friday (today), following the conclusion of hearings on petitions from several companies challenging the Sindh government’s decision to raise the minimum wage to Rs25,000.
The lawyer defending the owners of numerous companies, Abid Zuberi, told the court that the government did not meet the legal conditions to raise the minimum wage. As a result, he predicted, unskilled people from neighbouring provinces would migrate to Sindh, while industrialists would relocate elsewhere.
Sindh, he claims, has more industrial units and pays more taxes than the other provinces.
The Sindh secretary of labour informed the court that names for the nomination of the wage board chairman had been provided, but no one had consented to assume the post.
According to Khalid Javed, the lawyer for the Karachi Chamber of Commerce, the government has no jurisdiction to decide on labourer pay.
Khalid Mehmood Siddiqui, the lawyer for the Employers Federation of Pakistan, said the government should accept or reject the wage board’s recommendations.
The court stated that judges were aware that if the sector became troubled, it would be unable to pay the minimal salary it is currently paying.
According to Zuberi, the administration has not even published a notification concerning the mutually agreed-upon minimum salary of Rs19,000. Inflation would grow if the minimum salary is raised to Rs100,000, he claims.
Sindh Additional Advocate General Ali Safdar told the court that when there was a breakdown in communication between the parties, the government had to step in. “The government has the authority to determine workers’ salaries since the state is the mother to all of its citizens,” he explained.
The Sindh High Court ruled that the government’s decision would be upheld until the next judgement on minimum wages, therefore the minimum salary would remain at Rs25,000 per month.