The announcement of the increase in the guaranteed minimum income offers a breath of financial relief to an essential segment of the working population. However, its resonance with the current political landscape might suggest a deliberate strategy. With the general elections approaching, this measure, although undeniably social, seems to take on an electoral tinge in the eyes of some.
This timing, in view of the elections, raises questions about the real motivations. Ashok Subron, trade unionist and informed observer, emphasizes that it was the report of the National Wage Consultative Council (NWCC) which recommended a minimum wage of Rs 15,000. He insists on the fact that this increase in the minimum wage was subsidized by consumers themselves to the tune of Rs 500 million.
According to him, clarification is necessary from the government regarding the distribution of funds to honor this increase. “Will it be the workers or the conglomerates who will have to bear these costs? » he asks.
Ashok Subron points out that this will not be enough to compensate for the loss of purchasing power. “It will be necessary to analyze how this additional income will cover family expenses from February to judge its relevance. This is how we can judge whether it is a good calculation or not,” he emphasizes.
It was during a press conference on Friday December 1, 2023 that the Minister of Labor, Soodesh Callichurn, revealed that the minimum wage would be increased from Rs 11,575 to Rs 15,000 from January 1, 2024. He then specified that with the Government Income Allowance, financed by the Generalized Social Contribution from January 2024, the guaranteed minimum income would amount to Rs 17,000 for a person.
According to political observer Faizal Jeerooburkhan, there is no doubt that the guaranteed minimum income of Rs 17,000 will work in favor of the government in the upcoming general elections. “This substantial increase from Rs 11,575 to Rs 15,000 represents approximately 30% of the employees' salary. With such a percentage, this measure will undoubtedly be an asset for the Militant Socialist Movement. This appears to be a meticulously planned strategy with a very specific goal in mind. It’s a massive blow for the opposition,” underlines Faizal Jeerooburkhan.