Entrepreneurs protest wage hike

Biratnagar, October 14:

No sooner then the government has decided to raise minimum wage of workers, eastern regional business entrepreneurs have objected decision saying that they would be not able to afford the new wage. The government has just decided to finalise the minimum wage at Rs 190-a-day from Rs 125-a-day.

Organising a press meet here today, Industry Association Morang said the new wage fixed by the government is a unilateral decision. “Its a unilateral decision that would not be applicable as the government is forcing on us,” president of the Association Dinesh Golchha said blaming the government for ignoring them.

“According to the tradition minimum daily wage used to be fixed in mutual agreement among Trade Union, government and Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI),” he added.

However, the government had earlier discussed with the FNCCI and it has also suggested a minimum daily wage of Rs 160 and minimum monthly salary of Rs 4,200. But ignoring the FNCCI’s suggestion, the government has fixed the monthly salary at Rs 4,600 and daily wage at Rs 190.

The entrepreneurs have urged the government to keep in mind the productivity of the industries while increasing the salaries and daily wages. Industrialist Pradip Kumar Muraraka blamed the government for increasing the wage instead of trying to help industries decrease production cost. “If the Nepali industries can not compete with other countries, Nepali industries would be closed,” he said adding that there is no logic behind the increase in wage and salary.

They also said that fixing the salary by over 18 per cent would make no sense as the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has published a report stating 18 per cent increase in price of goods.

Meanwhile, Nepal Jute Industry Organisation has also asked to bring separate Labour Act and only then to fix the daily wage. The jute industries might not even afford Rs 160 as daily wage that was suggested by FNCCI, Golchha said.