Two key labour reform bills to come up in Parliament: Dattatreya
The Dollar Business Bureau
The Government, as a part of its Labour reforms, will present two major bills in the Parliament, related to wages and industrial relations in March for rationalisation and simplification of Labour Laws, said Bandaru Dattatreya, Minister of Labour and Employment.
“Next week at the inter-ministerial meeting under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Arun Jaitely, we will take the final decision and after that we will go to the Cabinet. In the March (leg of Budget Session) both the bills would be introduced and I am hopeful it would be passed,” Dattatreya said, while speaking at the ASSOCHAM 96th Annual Function on Thursday in New Delhi.
“All the 43 Labour Laws would be simplified and codified into 4 major categories,” he added.
Dattatreya said that the Central Board of Trustees would deliberate the proposal to enhance the portfolio of EPFO (Employees' Provident Fund Organisation) in the share market from the prevailing 10% to 15% from the overall corpus.
Currently, around Rs.17000 crore from the corpus of EPFO of Rs.8.70 lakh crore has been already invested in the stock market, he stated.
He further said the returns from EPFO investment into shares amounted to 8.7%-9% per year.
The minister said with Labour laws’ codification, the industry would witness an end to inspector Raj and red tape, and it would also ensure the welfare of workers.
Replying to queries from ASSOCHAM members, Dattatreya said keeping in view the increasing cost of living; the minimum wages of skilled as well as unskilled workers have been fixed.
He also mentioned the initiatives taken for the women workforce where the maternity leave for women workers is being extended from 12 weeks to 23 weeks. The limit for workers’ bonus has been raised and also the health benefits being increased by the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).