More than 40 labour laws will be shrunk to just four as the Centre plans to make it easier for companies to do business in India and recapture the momentum it lost in the recent months. "This would be first Bill to be introduced in the coming Parliament session," labour minister Santosh Gangwar told NDTV. All labour unions have been taken on board, he said. "We have discussed the matter with them and they have agreed to the government's proposal," the minister added.
The decision was taken by the recent inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Union home minister Amit Shah. The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, petroleum minister Dharamendra Pradhan and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal.
The four laws will bunch together the existing 44 laws that deal with wages, social security, industrial safety and welfare and industrial relations.
Once the new laws are passed, they will change India's labour rules framework. "Related laws will be merged to create labour codes for particular aspects of industries," explains one of the officials in the ministry.
For example, nearly a dozen laws related to social security -- including the Employees' Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, Employees' State Insurance Corporation Act, Maternity Benefits Act, Building and Other Construction Workers Act and the Employees' Compensation Act -- will be merged to create a single social security law or code, an official explained.
Similarly, several industrial safety and welfare laws such as the Factories Act, the Mines Act and the Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act, will be merged to create a single code on industrial safety and welfare.
Likewise, the Minimum Wages Act, the Payment of Wages Act, the Payment of Bonus Act, the Equal Remuneration Act and a few others are being merged to create a "single legislation called Wage Code Act".
The fourth law, the Labour Code on Industrial Relations, will combine Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the Trade Unions Act, 1926, and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946.
The objective of the exercise is to "take a relook at laws that are perhaps a hindrance to growth as well as job creation," adds a senior bureaucrat in labour department.
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