Government wants minimum laws, maximum governance: Labour Secretary H L Samariya

The secretary noted that initially India had 45 central labour Acts (laws) and as on date there are only 32 central labour Acts.

NEW DELHI: The government intends to bring in maximum governance with minimum laws by amalgamating all labour laws into four broad Codes, according to a senior official.

The labour ministry wants to introduce four Codes -- on wages, industrial relation, social security and industrial safety -- which would subsume all labour laws in more simplified and rationalised form.

"We intend to have minimum law, minimum government and maximum governance so that every individual should govern," Labour Secretary H L Samariya said at an event here.

"With all these (4 labour) Codes, what we are intending for employers, is that there should be minimum hurdle, hassles for employers. It should be self governance. (We want) one registration, one licence, one form and one compliance. But there should not be any cheating from both sides. It has to be a win-win situation for both sides," he added.

The secretary noted that initially India had 45 central labour Acts (laws) and as on date there are only 32 central labour Acts.

"We are simplifying, rationalising and subsuming these Acts into four Codes. It will be affecting all workers," Samariya said addressing an event by All India Organisation of Employers.

Of the four Codes, Code on Wages Bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday and is expected to be passed by the Rajya Sabha during the ongoing Budget session of the Parliament.

Besides, the government has introduced Code on Industrial Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill in the Lok Sabha, which would subsume as many as 13 labour laws.

The other two Codes on industrial safety and social security are at pre-legislative stage.

"We have a 50-crore workforce. In the unorganised sector, there are about 42 crore workers. Earlier, even for the Wages Code, 1,075 employments were in the schedule which were under the Minimum Wages Act.

"Around 60 per cent of the workers are not even covered under the Minimum Wages Act. They do not have the right to have minimum wages. Now, we will be covering all the 50-crore workforce and they would have the right to get minimum wage. This would include domestic help and agriculture workers also," Samariya said.

He informed that under the industrial relation code, the trade unions would be defined properly and only the elected ones would be recognised.

"Industrial relation (Code) let there be election. We must define a union and then self proclaimed union would disappear start negotiating with only elected unions. We have made such provisions with the industrial code. The elected unions take responsibility," he added.

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