Chief Labour Commissioner and Director-General of the Labour Bureau, DPS Negi reviewed the status of sensitization and implementation of labour laws and labour codes in NHPC(National Hydroelectric Power Corporation) and BRO ( Border Roads Organisation) projects in Himachal Pradesh. In separate meetings, he enquired about the prevailing labour issues at Parvati-2 and Parvati-3 projects of NHPC at Nagwain. He also examined different activities going at Bihali’s Parvati Power Station.
GMs in charge of both the projects briefed the CLC-cum-DG Labour regarding compliance with different labour laws. DPS Negi expressed his satisfaction with the compliance status of labour laws.
Chief Labour Commissioner and DG, Labour Bureau also paid a visit to the Atal tunnel where he met senior officials from BRO and contractors engaged in various activities of the tunnel. In the meeting, Officials from BRO which is a road construction organization, formed in 1960 under the Ministry of Defence, gave detailed presentations elaborating work and other related aspects of the tunnel. The tunnel, with a length of over 9 km, has been built under the Rohtang pass. It has improved the connectivity, considerably reducing the travel time and overall distance between Manali and Keylong.
DPS Negi discussed the necessity and importance of labour laws and new labour codes with officials from the BRO and contractors. He explained how adhering to current labour laws is a win-win situation for both employees and employers.
About New Labour Codes
Last year, Parliament approved three key labour reform bills.29 labour laws were subsumed in the simplified, easy to understand transparent 4 labour codes. The historic labour reforms in the country will prove to be a Game Changer in the labour welfare reforms covering more than 50 crores of organized and unorganized workers in the country.
Minister of State for Labour & Employment, Santosh Gangwar stressed that the objective of labour reforms is to have their labour laws in line with the changing world of the workplace and provide an effective and transparent system, balancing the needs of workers and industries.
Ease of doing business
The ease of doing business is a significant indicator of the investment-friendly business climate in the country. Improvements in the ease of doing business will enable faster future growth of the state economy.
The Minister stated that in addition to promoting unprecedented labour welfare and gender equality these labour codes would also help increase ease of doing business adding that industry and workers complement each other and therefore they have to work together in tandem with changing times.
The state of Uttar Pradesh has made the most significant changes. It has defunct all laws including the Minimum Wages Act. For the next three years, rules relating to the settlement of industrial disputes, occupational safety, health, and working conditions of workers, as well as trade unions, contract workers, and migrant labourers, would be loosened.
When the world grapples with the economic consequences of the current situation, India has made a very strategic move by relaxing its labour laws, state by state, as an emergency measure to give the economy a much-needed boost.
Implementation of Labour Codes
Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government will complete the implementation of the four labour codes for extending social security benefits to gig and platform workers with the application of minimum wages across all categories. They will be covered by the Employees State Insurance Corporation as well. Women will be allowed to work in all categories including the night-shifts with adequate protection. The provision of single registration and licensing, and online returns will also reduce the compliance burden on employers.
Schemes launched for the unorganized sector
For restoration of loss of employment during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Labour and Employment has taken a number of initiatives-
Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan- A Pension scheme for unorganised workers
Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan (PM-SYM) was rolled out by the Ministry of Labour and Employment in 2019. The scheme announced in the Interim Budget was notified by the Ministry as many as 42 crore workers are estimated to be engaged in the unorganized sector of the country. An unorganised worker whose monthly income is Rs 15,000/ per month or less and belong to the entry age group of 18-40 years are eligible for the scheme.
Each subscriber under the PM-SYM shall receive a minimum assured pension of Rs 3000/- per month after attaining the age of 60 years.
Portal for unorganised labour force
To further extend the Governments’ efforts towards the unorganised labour force, Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to launch a portal that will gather the relevant information on gig, building and construction workers among others. This will also help to formulate health, housing, skill, insurance, credit, and food schemes for migrant workers.
Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana
The Ministry of Labour and Employment has taken a number of initiatives for promoting employment generation in the country. The aim of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana (ABRY) Scheme is the creation of new employment along with social security benefits and restoration of loss of employment during the COVID-19 pandemic.