The government is ready to have a dialogue with the trade unions on wage increases, but the country needs to grow by an extra 1-1.5 percent so that it can sustain wage hike and other benefits given to workers and the poor, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday.
"Our GDP growth of 7.5 percent is at a time when the world is experiencing global slowdown. We need to increase our growth rate. We have to at least increase it by 1-1.5 percent," he said at a felicitation function organised by the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh.
"In the coming year, there would be a burden of Rs 1.02 lakh crore of Seventh Pay Commission, OROP (one rank, one pension) burden is also there. That burden can be sustained only when there is increase in economic activity. Because of increased economic activity, government revenue and resources will go up," the finance minister said.
Noting that wages or bonus can only be increased when the government and private sector have the required resources, Jaitley said the minimum wages of labour should, at the least, be respectable and allow for inflation.
He asked the BJP-affiliated BMS to support the growth-oriented policies of the government, which will, in turn, take care of all their reasonable demands.