Dec. 26: The Assam government has fixed the minimum rate of wages payable to private security guards employed at different business establishments and corporate houses in the state.
A minimum monthly wage of Rs 9,000 has been fixed for armed security officers, Rs 7,500 for supervisors, Rs 6,600 for armed personnel, Rs 5,400 for unarmed personnel and Rs 4,800 for other unskilled employees engaged by private security agencies.
The security personnel will have to be paid the minimum wage as net payment. Any facility, like free housing, cannot be deducted from this.
Besides fixing the minimum wage rate, the government has also made payment of variable dearness allowance (VDA) to security personnel mandatory. The VDA should be paid up to 75 per cent of the rise or fall in the index point of All India Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Industrial Workers. The VDA rate will be calculated every six months on the basis of the changes in CPI during the intervening period.
The state government has also asked private security agencies to give their employees a day of rest every week.
Senior cabinet minister Prithibi Majhi, who holds the labour and employment portfolio, told The Telegraph that the government move was aimed at ensuring that those engaged by private firms “get their due”.
The move comes a few months ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Sources said a large chunk of the state’s youths work for private security agencies and many of them complain of poor salaries.
“The latest move by the Tarun Gogoi government will make these youths happy and might attract them to vote in favour of the Congress in the coming election,” a source in the Congress said.
There have been allegations that many private security agencies do not follow the norms set by city police.
IGP (law and order) S.N. Singh, who is the controlling authority of private security agencies in the state, said 35 agencies have so far been given licences to operate and 35 applications for licences were being processed.
There are allegations that some small-time private security agencies do not have the necessary police permission to operate.
“There are around 7,000 private security personnel in the state and the sector is regulated by the Assam Private Security Regulation Act, 2007,” Singh said.