LabourMinistry to push three bills for Cabinet approval

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New Delhi, April 26: In a bid to push labour reforms to improve ease of doing business and boost the 'Make in India' programme, Labour Ministry will push three bills for Cabinet approval next week including on small factories, provident fund and prohibition of child labour.

The Ministry is keen on introducing these bills -- Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Bill, Small Factories (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) Bill, 2014 and Employees' Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Amendment Bill -- in the ongoing Budget session.

lok-sabha

The Lok Sabha session is scheduled to conclude on May 8, while Rajya Sabha will transact business till May 13.

"Labour Ministry will try to push these three important bills related to small factories, EPF and child labour in the ongoing Budget session. These bills will be placed before Cabinet next week," a senior Labour Ministry official said. [Modi Government to revamp colonial Labour Laws to boost growth, employment]

However, the official was sceptical about smooth passage of these bills in Parliament in the current session.

On the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Bill, which has been cleared by Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, the official said it provides that any child below 14 years of age will not be employed in an organised sector.

However, the children who help parents in their small establishments like eating joints or floor mills, after school hours, would be kept out of the purview of the new provisions.

The Small Factories (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) Bill seeks to regulate small industries while providing for ease of doing business.

The Bill provides each employer a labour identification number that would allow him to register online and submit a single compliance report for all 44 labour laws.

Besides, the Ministry is seeking comprehensive amendments to the Employees' Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 to provide workers an option between EPF scheme run by retirement fund body EPFO and New Pension Scheme (NPS).

One of the proposed amendments in the bill authorises the central government to waive off the mandatory PF contributions by workers with certain threshold of monthly income.

As per the provisions of the bill, Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) will be a regulatory body for monitoring the implementation of the scheme as there could be cases where workers neither go to EPF nor NPS.

The amendments also seek to change the definition of wages to include basic pay and all allowances paid to workers.

This would increase the PF contributions by workers and employers but result in higher savings for employees.

The bill also provides that all firms with 10 or more workers would come under the purview of the EPFO. At present, only those firms, who employ 20 or more workers, are covered by EPFO.

PTI

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