Labour Ministry working on bill for gratuity to pvt school teachers

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New Delhi, Jan 24 (UNI) Union Labour and Employment Minister Oscar Fernandes today said his ministry is working on a bill to be introduced in the coming Budget Session of Parliament to ensure payment of gratuity to teachers of private schools.

Addressing the consultative committee meeting here, Mr Fernandes said apart from this, the Unorganised Sector Workers Social Security Bill, 2007, introduced in Parliament in September last, is expected to be considered by Parliament during the Budget Session alongwith the recommendations of the Standing Committee and comments of the government.

He said the government has been committed to the welfare measures for the labour force of the country and would make every effort to protect their interests.

Speaking on the issue of the 'contract labour', the Minister said there was an urgent need to arrive at a consensus to find a viable solution which was acceptable to all the stakeholders namely workers, employers and state governments. He reiterated that his ministry follows spirit of tripartite consultations in the true sense and would like to address the issues concerning contract labour in this spirit only.

At the moment, there existed a big gap between the divergent stands taken by the trade unions and the employers' organisations on this issue as the trade unions have been demanding automatic absorption of contract labour while the employers were vehemently opposed to it, he added.

He pointed that some of the state governments, in tune with the changing times, have proposed measures to liberalise the Contract Labour Act to spur industrial growth, especially granting exemption to Special Economic Zones (SEZs)and Export Oriented Units from the applicability of the Act to boost exports.

Participating in the discussion, the members lauded the efforts of the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment for effectively taking up the issues concerning the welfare of the labour.

However, they expressed concern over the fact that the tendency to deploy contract labour has been on the increase even in the government sector. Mr Fernandes said that his Ministry was aware of the trend and was attempting to evolve the measures to protect the interest of the labour force.

UNI/BKS AM AS1745

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