SHILLONG: Women factory workers in Meghalaya are set to get free sanitary napkins at their workplace as the state cabinet has approved an amendment to the four-decades-old Factories Rules, a government spokesperson said on Tuesday.
The amendment to the 40-year-old service rules also makes it mandatory for factories to provide personal protective equipment (PPEs) to all workers, he said.
"After discussion, the proposal to amend rules 25 and 78 (C) of the Meghalaya Factories Rules, 1980 was approved at the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Monday," James PK Sangma told PTI.
The amendment was made after the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment had written to the state government to incorporate the Model Factories Rules regarding the provisions of sanitary napkins for the women workers under the Factories Act, 1948 and also to incorporate rules regarding the PPEs for all workers, he said.
According to the government spokesperson, the proposed amendment also incorporated clauses to ensure that the sanitary napkins of adequate quantity and conforming to Indian standards shall be provided and maintained in the womens toilets for their use and the same be replenished on a daily basis.
He said disposal bins with lit shall also be provided within the womens toilets for the collection of the used napkins and they shall be disposed of as per procedures approved by the inspector.
The same clauses are also applicable to the PPEs provided in terms of quality and disposal, he said.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet has also approved the appointment of former chief secretary PS Thangkhiew as chairman of the Meghalaya State Food Commission (MSFC) and Lamonlang M Syiem as chairperson of the Meghalaya State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MSCPCR).
Thangkhiew succeeded BK Deb Verma, whose tenure ended in February and Syiem replaced Meena Kharkongor as her term ended in March this year and both were recommended by the respective search committees, he said.
The search committee had also recommended the appointment of Dr Grenalin Marak, retired superintendent of Tura civil hospital, as member of the MSFC while renewing the tenure of Ravi Gurng as legal member.
The cabinet also cleared the appointment of - SD Massar, E Shylla, FP Marak, MK Marak, Tiana TD Areng and Dr Ibamon Laloo as members of MSPCR.
The spokesperson also said that the cabinet also cleared the appointment of PSR Kharkongor, as the new chief technical adviser (CTA) to the state power department for a period of one year besides clearing the appointment of 18 engineers in the Water Resources department.