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April 8, 2015

SC seeks report on non-payment of minimum wages


April 8, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday sought reports from all the four provincial labour secretaries regarding the volume of complaints received pertaining to non-payment of minimum wages and measures taken so far in this regard.
A two-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, was hearing a suo moto notice about the payment of minimum wages by the federal and provincial governments.
Faiz and Mudasir Naqvi had filed the petition under Article 184(3) of Constitution.Additional Advocate General Balochistan informed the court that they have law of minimum wages and there is six months imprisonment for not implementing it. He said that the Welfare Workers Funds had issued notification of minimum wages of Rs12,000.
Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed however remarked that only notification is not enough; it should also be implemented in letter and spirit.Similarly, Razzaq A Mirza Additional Advocate General Punjab told the court that the provincial government received 22,556 complaints for non-payment of minimum wages i.e. Rs12, 000. He submitted that that the government takes action against the employers if they fail to pay the minimum wages.
In June 2014, the federal government raised the minimum wages from Rs10,000 to Rs12,000/ per month for unskilled workers, and all the provincial governments also issued notification in that regard.
Ayaz Mangi, Secretary Labour, Sindh, informed that 250 complaints were registered, while the provincial government carried out 7,700 inspections.
Justice Azmat however questioned as to whether all the employees in the province were getting minimum wages and were satisfied. He observed that inspectors’ job is to check the non-implementation of law, but they are busy in collecting ‘bhatta’.
The Khyber Pukhtoonkhawa (KP) additional advocate general informed the court that they have received 529 complaints. He further told that the minimum wages in KP are Rs15,000/ instead of Rs12,000/

which is higher than in other provinces. He said this increase in minimum wages has been challenged in the Peshawar High Court, which has granted stay against the increase.
Meanwhile, the court directed all the provincial labour secretaries to submit a report, stating as to how many complaints they have received so far against non-payment of minimum wages and the action they have taken in this regard and adjourned the hearing for three weeks.

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