Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday urged the Centre to reconsider its directives asking industry and shops/commercial establishments to continue paying full wages to their workers during the coronavirus lockdown period, as it may push them to bankruptcy.
Meanwhile, he has also urged the Government of India to look for innovative solutions to protect the interests of the workers, in these difficult times, without causing irreparable damage to the industry/commercial establishments, etc.
The Chief Minister has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking reconsideration of the order of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. The relevant part of the order reads: “that all the employers, be it in the Industry or in the shops and commercial establishments, shall make payment of wages to their workers, at their workplace, on the due date, without any deduction, for the period their establishment is under closure during the lockdown.”
The Chief Minister said that this part of the order needs reconsideration “as this will have huge financial implications for the industry as well as shops and commercial establishments in the State and may push them to bankruptcy as the income of most of these units has completely stopped due to lockdown.” On the other hand, Captain Amarinder Singh said that the workers, especially the low-paid ones, could be deprived of their income for no fault of theirs.
He termed it as imperative that the Centre should reexamine the matter and explore some innovative solutions “whereby the interests of the workers can be protected without impairing the financial health of commercial and industrial units beyond repair.” While pointing out that the state government had written separately to the Union Labour Ministry on the issue, Captain Amarinder Singh urged the Prime Minister to advise them to take early action in this regard.