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Kharge denies hitch in implementing wage board recommendations

J. Balaji

NEW DELHI: As some newspaper managements continue to put pressure on the Labour Ministry from going ahead with the formalities for notifying the recommendations of the Wage Boards for the journalists and other employees of the newspapers/news agencies, Union Labour and Employment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday denied there was any hitch.

Talking to The Hindu on the phone from Bangalore, he said the process of getting the Cabinet nod for the recommendation was still on and he was hopeful that it would be through at the earliest.

He refused to answer a question whether his ministry was delaying the notification bowing to the pressures of the newspaper establishments.

Labour Secretary P.C. Chathurvedi too denied there was any hitch and added that: “there are some procedures to be followed for getting the Cabinet nod.”

The Ministry was yet to get response from some ministries forwarding their opinion relating to the Cabinet note on the recommendations.

Mr. Chathurvedi described as “totally wrong” reports that the ministry had written to the Election Commission wanting to know whether the Ministry could go ahead with the issuance of notification in view of poll process for Assembly elections in four States and Puducherry.

It may be recalled that three representatives of the management in the wage boards refused to give their nod for the final report of the wage boards, headed by Justice G.R. Majithia, and the reports were submitted to the government with the consent of other members of the board including employees' representatives.

While the journalists/other employees unions have claimed that the UPA-II government was delaying the notification “succumbing to the pressure'' by the managements of the media organisations, the Indian Newspaper Society had wanted the Labour Ministry to “reject” the recommendations and claimed that the Wage Boards reports were prepared in breach of rules and time-tested procedures.

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