Reds target labour ministry over laws

New Delhi, Nov 17 | Updated: Nov 18 2005, 06:17am hrs
Trade unions are set to rattle the labour ministry on the Labour Laws Amendments & Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2005. In a strongly-worded note to the labour secretary, Citu has accused the ministry of violating the consensus reached at the previous Indian Labour Council (ILC) meet held in October 2003.

Said Citu, It is regrettable that the central government has totally ignored the Indian Labour Council (ILC) report. Instead, it unilaterally proceeded to constitute a working group - ostensibly to study and suggest the simplification of the forms and registers - without any further discussion with the trade unions as envisaged by the ILC.

It has also charged the government of discarding the interests of the workers and being biased in promoting the interests of the entrepreneurs alone.

On the issue of granting exemption on insurance to companies employing less than 10 persons, Citu said, With the advance in scientific technological levels, even establishments with less than 10 persons are posting huge turnover and profits. There is no reason to exempt such establishments.

The note has also raised objections to sections 7 and 8 of the principal Act of 1988 saying, Section 7 of the Act empowers the Central government to amend any form prescribed through an official gazette, subject of course to the scrutiny of Parliament. Section 8 empowers the Centre to remove any difficulty that arises in giving effect to the provisions of the Act. In our view these powers are more than adequate and there is no empirical evidence to suggest that the Central government had encouraged any difficulty on this score.

It also said, The new section 7 of clause 7 in the proposed bill seeks to empower the Central government to amend any schedule to the act through executive decision-as against the present provision to amend only the form prescribed. They suggest,the power to amend any schedule to the act should be vested only with Parliament and the Centre should take recourse to bring an amendment bill for the purpose, if need arises.