True, the union labour ministry has agreed to raise the upper ceiling of workers entitled for protection under the Payment of Wages Act from Rs 1,600 to Rs 6,500 per month but will that be sufficient to see laid-off workers through when alternate job opportunities are few and far between Clearly, there must be checks and balances in place, and cases of closure will have to be treated on merit. The Supreme Courts recent ruling that establishments will not have unfettered rights to close down is, therefore, significant. The apex court has made it mandatory for establishments seeking closure to approach the appropriate governmental authority for necessary permission. This provision is already available in Section 25-0 of the Industrial Disputes Act. Since the Supreme Court has now rightly upheld the constitutional validity of this section, it is hoped that the labour ministry will retain the same in the Industrial Disputes Act which is sought to be amended. This indeed is the safety valve at the governments disposal which must be utilised to protect workers interests when recalcitrant establishments approach it for permission to close down. If the government is not satisfied with the genuineness of the case, it is always free to reject the application which is as it should be.