THE Sindh Minimum Wages Board has issued a belated notification which was published in the Sindh government Gazette on Oct 14.

This notification comprises draft recommendations regarding fixation of minimum rates of wages of all category of workers (skilled/semi-skilled and highly skilled) in 40 different industries in the province.

By virtue of this notification, the Minimum Wages Board has decided to increase the minimum rates of wages by 16.66 per cent with effect from July 1, in respect of the above category of workers.

Hence the minimum wages have been proposed to be increased in respect of the adult and juvenile employed in industrial/commercial undertakings in Sindh from the existing Rs230.77 to Rs269.23 per day (for eight working hours) and from Rs6,000 to Rs7,000 per month (for 26 working days).

The notification states: “Notice is hereby given that the proposed rates together with objections and suggestions with respect thereto which may be received by the Secretary, Minimum Wages Board Sindh, Karachi, within a period of 30 days from the date of publication of this notification in the official gazette shall be taken into consideration by the said board under Rule 14(2) of Rules ibid.

“Any objection, suggestion received after the expiry of said period of 30 days will not be considered”.

Based on the above, the proposed rates of minimum wages will be enforced subject to any objections, if received and accepted, by Nov 13.

This notification has been issued so late that it will be quite burdensome on the employers if they have to increase the minimum wages with effect from July 1.

Besides paying arrears of wages to eligible employees, they will have to pay arrears of difference in the rate of Employees Old-age Benefits Institution's and Sindh Employees Social Security Institution's contributions.

In the EOBI the rate of payment of contribution is based on the prevailing rate of minimum wages while in the SESSI the payment slab of contribution will shift from the existing Rs6,000 to Rs10,000 to Rs7,000 to Rs10,000.

In order to avoid hardship to the employers and being fair with them, it is strongly recommended that the proposed rates of minimum wages should be revised from the prospective date of Nov 1.

PARVEZ RAHIM Karachi

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