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Changes in labour laws must in the situation arising out of Corona crisis: CM Shri Chouhan

Important decisions will be made soon for incentive to investor and labour welfare 

भोपाल : शुक्रवार, मई 1, 2020, 20:04 IST

Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that changes in labour laws are essential to convert the circumstances and challenges that have arisen from the crisis of Covid-19 into opportunities. Arrangement of means of livelihood for the labourers is most important in these times. Labourers are being benefited in MNREGA and other works even during situation of lockdown. The state government has deposited funds in their accounts so that they do not face any difficulty in this hour of crisis. Care is being taken to make solid provisions for the welfare of construction workers, factory workers and all other categories of workers. In the coming months, efforts will be made to ensure that more and more people get employment, minimum wages are ensured and workers get necessary facilities. Shri Chouhan said that this is also a priority today. The Chief Minister said that the industrialists who will set up new industries in the next 1000 days, they will give employment to people, they will at least have the facility of adhering the labour laws. In this connection, important decisions will be taken soon after studying the labour laws of the state and the Centre in detail. Shri Chouhan proposed to introduce necessary labour reforms and submit the draft as soon as possible.

Chief Minister Shri Chouhan held a discussion with officials regarding simplification of labour laws and ensuring maximum welfare of the workers and gave necessary instructions in this regard. Shri Chouhan said that in the next one thousand days, there should be more people to increase investment in the state and provide employment to maximum number of people. For this, the provisions and rationale of various labour laws have to be considered and focus would have to be made on implementing reformative measures with the objective of altering them and strengthening the economy. He said that insignificant labour laws may also be revoked. Shri Chouhan instructed Principal Secretary Labour to submit an action-plan in this regard by conducting a workout.

Discussion was held on the proposed labour reforms in the meeting. In the meantime, it was agreed in principle to facilitate online submission of returns to factories, keeping one register in place of 61 registers in 16 labour laws, filing only one return instead of filing 13 returns in office. Similarly, there is a provision under the Labour Act not to conduct inspection in establishments where there are less than 10 workers, without the permission of the Labour Commissioner. There was a discussion on increasing labour force in this provision. Apart from this, discussion was held regarding labour reforms in connection with the Shops and Establishments Act 1958 provides for relaxation in opening of commercial establishments from 8 am to 12 pm, provision of registration in 24-hours, additional 2-hour exemption in shop hours at night and timings of opening of restaurants, cinemas etc. Provisions in the state’s labour laws regarding the facility of keeping the register in digital format computer, reduction in the documents sought for registration and licenses, scheduling time in the night shift by fixing time in the Factories Act and paid leave under the Factories Act, 1948, were discussed. The proposed reforms include registration by the Labour Commissioner necessary to give the right to third party inspection in the Factories Act 1948, grant of Contractor License in Contract Labour Act 1970 for contract period instead of calendar year, provision of increasing labour force in effectiveness of Factory Act 1948 in both categories that is –with and without power consumption. Presently this provision is applicable for 20 workers without power usage and 10 workers with power usage. Discussions were also held in the meeting regarding redressal by compounding, Industrial Planning Act and Central Model Shop Act in the state in cases of violation of Industrial Disputes Act, Contract Labour Act, Motor Traffic Workers Act and Building and Other Construction Workers Act.

Chief Secretary Shri Iqbal Singh Bains said that abolition of non-essential labour laws should be considered. He issued directions for necessary action in this regard by the Labour Department after studying the measures adopted by other states. Principal Secretary Labour Shri Ashok Shah, Principal Secretary Commerce and Industry Dr. Rajesh Rajaura, Labor Commissioner Shri Ashutosh Awasthi and other officials were present in the meeting.

Ashok Manwani
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