Kejriwal defends min wage hike, dares BJP,Cong govts to follow

New Delhi, Aug 17 (PTI) Defending his government’sdecision to hike minimum wages in Delhi, Chief Minister ArvindKejriwal today said money in the hands of the poor and middleclass, and not "Ambani and Adani", will benefit the country’seconomy. Kejriwal said it was to be seen whether BJP and Congressshow the courage to take similar decisions in the states ruledby them. The Chief Minister was addressing a gathering oflabour unions at his residence here. "I told those who are threatening to strike work and shutindustries that overall business is anyway bleak across thecountry since no one has money in hand. When money will reachthe poor then it will have a positive effect on the economy asdemand and subsequently consumption will rise," Kejriwal said. Interestingly, ruling AAP’s trade wing has warned of astrike in Delhi in case the decision to raise wages is notwithdrawn. It is also going to the raise the issue with LtGovernor Najeeb Jung. "Policies have to benefit the poor. There will be anescalation of cost, no doubt, but in the middle term and longterm it will benefit everyone when money will reach the middleclass and poor," Kejriwal said. Repeatedly referring to "Ambani and Adani" in hisaddress, Kejriwal alleged that government policies are"deliberately" framed to ensure profit for few families in thecountry, leading to "deepening" chasm in the society and spikein unemployment and crime. "We will have to implement it in Delhi and then raise ourvoice across the country. I urge Modiji to look beyond Ambaniand care for the people. If the Centre wants then it canimplement the same across the country in one go," he said. Kejriwal had announced the government’s decision theraise wages his Independence Day speech. As per the proposal, the minimum wages for unskilledperson will be Rs 14,052 against the existing Rs 9,568 in thenational capital. Besides, the same for semi-skilled andskilled persons will increase from Rs 10,582 to Rs 15,471 andfrom Rs 11,622 to 17,033 respectively. PTI SBRRT


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