SC stays minimum wages for workers in Sindh

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued stay order against minimum monthly wage of Rs 25,000 for workers, fixed by the Sindh government.

The Sindh High Court had upheld the government of Sindh’s decision of keeping the minimum wage at Rs25,000 a month, citing that the provincial government was competent to fix, announce and declare the minimum wage.

A two-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa, while hearing petitions against minimum wages fixed in Sindh, also issued notices to the Attorney General of Pakistan and Advocate General Sindh for assistance over the mechanism of minimum wages for workers.

Provincial cabinet in its session on June 25 had fixed Rs 25,000 minimum monthly wage of workers, the court said.

“The counsel of private industries has argued that the mechanism of fixing minimum wages is against the constitution”, the court observed.

“The petitioner will pay all arrears of wages if the stay order taken back,” the court said. The bench also recommended constitution of a three-member bench for hearing of the case.

Earlier, the counsel private industries argued that the Sindh Wage Board had recommended fixing Rs. 19,000 as minimum monthly wage of workers.

The chief minister against the recommendation enhanced the minimum monthly wage at Rs 25,000, the counsel argued.

“The chief minister or the government of Sindh have not been authorized to increase the wage on their own.”

“Other provinces have fixed minimum wage 20,000 per month, while in Sindh it is 25,000,” the counsel further argued. —INP

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