The Centre is considering bringing about nine million private security guards under the purview of Code on Wages, 2019, to ensure uniform minimum wages for them nationally, Union home ministry officials said. State governments currently regulate the private security sector and wages of guards differ from one state to another.
Parliament passed the code last year to guarantee a minimum wage to millions of workers and to set standard wages nationally. The rules for the code are being framed. According to the code, minimum wages will no longer be based on employment but on geography and skills. The code seeks to ensure timely payment of minimum wages and offers legislative protection to over 500 million workers in the unorganised sector.
In a video conference with over 250 CEOs of private security agencies from all over the country and the Central Association of Private Security Industry (CAPSI) recently, home ministry officials assured that the guards will be taken care of in terms of wages, bonus, timely payment of salaries, overtime and social security schemes.
The officials cited above said the ministry will soon release the amendments to the Private Security Agencies Regulation Act, which will create a new regime for ease of doing business for private security agencies. As per the new rules, security agencies are expected to be able to offer designations to the guards, etc. Applications for the licences are likely to be eased and digital payments are expected to be allowed to pay the fees for them.
Around 9 million security guards are registered with over 23,000 private security agencies and they are deployed at government offices, retail outlets, malls, restaurants, movie theatres, residential complexes etc. In Delhi alone, there are around 375,000 security guards and around 350,000 in Gurugram, according to CAPSI data.