12 manufacturer associations of Faridabad join hands to save themselves : Sanjay Chaturvedi
Since the announcement of increase in the minimum wages in Haryana to Rs.8,100 the industries of Faridabad has been expressing their discomfort on the abnormal increase of 51% in the minimum wages. In order to decide the strategy for protesting the increase 12 associations of different sections of manufacturers joined hands. A joint meeting was called upon on Thursday, organized by Manufacturer’s Association of Faridabad (MAF).
A committee was formed taking representations from all the associations, to decide the plan of action for communicating the concern of the industry in general and of small and medium enterprises in particular. While the speakers suggested legal recourse to the problem, it was decided to launch an agitation against the announcement. To start with the industry would be writing directly to the Chief Minister to restrain from implementing the proposal. Leading industrialist S.P.Agarwal said that since the Chief Minister has made the announcement in view of the coming elections, he would not be agreeing to the proposal of staying the announcement or doing away with it altogether. However, said Agarwal, he can announce some other facility to the industry of Haryana to compensate the steep increase in the cost.
Speaking on the occasion Ramneek Prabhakar, General Secretary, said “With the overall all slow down the industry is already lagging behind the projections by at least 20%. With the new announcement the labour cost would almost be doubled eating into the investments of the industrialists”. He said, “Since the voter list is not only confined to the names of the workers but also has a major share of the industrialists, the chief minister should be treating the industries too at par. The increase in minimum wages has already been linked to the price index and raised twice a year without fail. Then why such abnormal increase I needed, is to be seen”. He said that if the chief minister thinks, the increase is inevitable; the industry should be compensated with some other relief such as reduced electricity tariff or some rebate in taxes. With so much of increase in the labour cost industries would be landed with a hike of 10% to 40% depending on the type of industry. With this level of increase in costs, many or the industries would face a close down while others would certainly be losing their business to their competitors in neighboring states.
Naresh Verma, president MAF, addressed the gathering with relevant figures. He said, “ If we go through the minimum wages applicable in other states, UP is having Rs.5,200 (increased recently), Himachal Pradesh Rs.4,500, Rajasthan has fixed its minimum wages at Rs.4,410 while Punjab known to be one of the most prosperous states is having Rs.6,248 as minimum wages. Chandigarh, the union territory with 100% literacy level has fixed their minimum wages to Rs.7,023 while the national capital is at the top with Rs.8,086, where the business enterprises are having so much of facilities. Hence, said Verma, why Haryana has to be on the top of the wages part? None of the states mentioned above has increase the wages two fold in one go, then why Haryana CM is in so much of hurry to increase the same so much? He said that if the industries are closed due to hike in their manufacturing costs, where would these workers be getting these minimum wages? The revenue generated from these industries would also be stopped with the closure of the industries. Hence, the CM has to look at a wider picture and not only think of pleasing the worker community.
The industries have decided to write to CM for stay of any increase for the time being and also study the legal part of the abnormal increase, if it is notified. The industries also decided to hold demonstrations on different platforms to present their case, since it is a matter of life and death for the industries.
Ramneek Prabhakar, General Secretary MAF, said that they are also in talks with other industrial associations of Faridabad, Gurgaon, Karnal, Amabala and other cities of the state and would try to make the protests even wider and united for all the state.