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Bill for unorganised labour force this session

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 18 (UNI) Concerned over the plight of millions of workers in the unorganised sector in the country, the government today said it would introduce a Bill in Parliament during the ongoing session to address their problems.

''The legislation is in its final stages and would be introduced in this session itself,'' Labour Minister K Chandrashekar Rao said in the Rajya Sabha during zero hour. He said UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have taken keen interest in the subject.

Mr Rao said the government is also determined to stop child labour and will spend any amount to curb the problem. Mr Rao said the government spending has increased from Rs 178 crore to Rs 600 crore.

When Vanga Geetha of TDP asked why there is a difference in wages between a male and female worker, the Minister said Gender Equal Remuneration laws are in place in all the states and is being implemented.

On the non-working of the Labour tribunals, the Minister replied in the affirmative stating that 22 such tribunal are in place and is active with 14,906 cases pending as of today.

He said any default in Provident Fund payment if brought to the notice of Ministry, follow up action would be taken. The action on this cannot be speeded up as the Centre is bound by the Election Commission's code of conduct as many states are going to polls.

On the labour protection, Mr Rao said 47 acts have been implemented by the Ministry.

When TDP's Ravula Chandra Shekar Reddy asked about the plight of women workers, the Minister said the government has taken adequate steps to ensure safety standards in all the states.

He said Rs 66 has been kept as the bench mark for minimum wages in the country while daily allowance has been increased from Rs 45 to Rs 120.

''The UPA government will stick to the CMP and it will be for the welfare of labour,'' Mr Rao said.

He clarified that the Ministry is not ''sleeping'' as alleged by RSP member Manoj Bhattacharya earlier. The budgetary support has been increased by 45 per cent for labour, he said.

He added that no separate labour laws will be set up for multi national companies.

For the welfare of the beedi workers, several initiative had been taken up ranging from hospitals to setting up of houses at a cost of Rs 60 crores.

UNI RT MSJ GC1241

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