Key labour re­forms stuck on Cab­i­net nod to code

The Financial Express - - ECONOMY -

THE KEY labour re­for m pro­pos­als closely linked to Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s ‘Make in In­dia’ ini­tia­tive are not likely to be im­ple­mented any­time soon, sources in the labour min­istry said.

This is be­cause the code on in­dus­trial re­la­tions, which is con­sid­ered the main law on which the other labour re­for ms are de­pen­dent, is yet to be sent for ap­proval of the Cab­i­net. It can be tabled in Par­lia­ment only af­ter the Cab­i­net’s nod.

The code on in­dus­trial re­la­tions makes it tougher to for m trade unions and pro­hibits politi­cians from be­com­ing union lead­ers in or­gan­ised sec­tor es­tab­lish­ments. It also pro­poses to al­low em­ploy­ers with up to 300 work­ers to go for re­trench­ment, lay-off and clo­sure with­out gover nment per mis­sion from the cur­rent 100 em­ploy­ees.

Labour min­istry of­fi­cials re­main tightlipped when asked whether the code on in­dus­trial re­la­tions has any chance of be- ing put up for pas­sage in the sec­ond leg of the Bud­get ses­sion that starts on April 25.

The code on wages, which would al­low states to fix min­i­mum wages and make na­tional wage manda­tory, how­ever, has been sent for the Cab­i­net’s ap­proval, sources said, adding that the Small Fac­to­ries Bill has also been sent for the nod of the gover nment’s highest de­ci­sion- mak­ing body.

The Cab­i­net note for Em­ploy­ees’ Prov­i­dent Fund & Mis­cel­la­neous Pro­vi­sions Bill is yet to be cir­cu­lated and is still be­ing vet­ted by the law min­istry. The EPF Bill seeks to pro­vide sub­scribers of the re­tire­ment fund body an op­tion of choos­ing be­tween EPF and the New Pen­sion Sys­tem (NPS).

In the win­ter ses­sion, the Pay­ment of Bonus (Amend­ment) Bill, 2015 was passed that en­hances pay el­i­gi­bil­ity limit of an em­ployee for bonus to ` 21,000 per month from ` 10,000, and the monthly bonus cal­cu­la­tion ceil­ing to ` 7,000 per month from ` 3,500 a month ear­lier.

Im­me­di­ately af­ter tak­ing over, the new gover nment had itemised labour re­for ms as an im­por­tant agenda. It de­cided to do away with some of the 44 ex­tant cen­tral labour laws or merge them, with just four codes aimed at en­sur­ing ease of do­ing busi­ness, where In­dia ranks poorly in the world.

The pro­posed re­for ms are tipped to be the big­gest labour re­for ms since In­de­pen­dence.

The pro­posed labour re­forms are tipped to be the big­gest since In­de­pen­dence

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