45th Session of the Standing Labour Committee
Finalizes Agenda for the 45th Indian Labour Conference
‘Rapid economic growth’ coupled with ‘Safeguarding the rights of the workers’ will lay the foundation of our country’s development in a sustained manner. Shri Mallikarjun Kharge, Minister of Labour and Employment, emphasized this while delivering his presidential address at the 45thsession of Standing Labour Committee here today at Vigyan Bhawan. He laid stress on the proactive measures to improve the situation of the workers in general and those of the vulnerable sections of the society in particular. According to him the concept of ‘Dignity of human labour’ and ‘Safeguarding the interest of our work-force’ should be the cornerstone of all our policies. He stated that active labour market policies and speedy Social Security coverage are the two basic requirements of our present day society. Shri Kharge said that one of the contemporary challenges is employment generation. In this regard MGNREGA has been able to provide income support and has contributed towards checking distress migration. Other employment generation programmes like National Rural Livelihood Mission, Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojna and Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme etc. have also contributed a lot towards providing livelihood security.
Labour and Employment Minister also spoke about various legislative steps taken by his Ministry for Labour Welfare in recent years. These are:-
· Increase of wage ceiling in the Payment of Wages Act, 1936;
· Amendments in the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 for speedy reconciliation and settlement of disputes;
· Provision of reservation for OBC in the Apprenticeship Act, 1961;
· Increase in Wage Ceiling in the Bonus Act;
· Increase of Medical Bonus under the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961;
· Increase in gratuity ceiling to Rs.10 Lakh.
Shri Kharge further stated that the process of amendment in the Mines Act, 1952 is in progress. Cabinet has approved amendments in the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, which will facilitate ratification of ILO Convention 138 and 182. He said that 94 % of our workforce is in the unorganized sector. This area requires relentless efforts and innovative indigenous solutions. Strategies for bringing improvement in this area should aim at improving Labour Legislation and Labour Administration. According to him extending organizational support and augmenting bargaining power of the unorganized workers should be a priority.
According to Labour and Employment Minister India faces a mammoth challenge in the area of skill training. Because of Government’s intense efforts we have been able to increase the number of ITIs to more than 10,000 and improved the infrastructure of existing ITIs. Modular Employable Skill is one of the ambitious schemes of Ministry to address the employment needs of the unorganized sector. Government has been able to develop 1,422 short term courses for providing skills in a short span to a large number of people. Shri Kharge stated that 27 States/UTs are implementing RSBY and more than 3.35 crore smart cards have been issued. More than 46.75 lakh persons have availed hospitalization facilities.
Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Shri K. Suresh stated that Ministry of Labour and Employment is always guided by the spirit of tripartism and it works towards creation of harmonious relationship and conducive industrial environment. He further stated that we should ensure that labour-management relations in our countries must be marked by confrontation, cooperation and consensus, not confirmation. Any proactive step in this regard will act as a catalyst in sustaining our growth momentum which is also very essential to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, particularly poverty eradication.
The Standing Labour Committee finalized the following agenda for 45th Indian Labour Conference:
1. Service conditions, wages and social security for various categories of workers employed in different Central Government and State Government schemes (Anganwadi, Mid-day meal, ASHA, Sarva-Shiksha Abhiyan and other schemes under various Ministers of Central Government.
2. Social Security with special reference to Assured Pension with indexation for all workers including self-employed.
3. Labour Law for micro and small enterprises
4. Measures to improve employment and employability
Following Labour Ministers from various States attended this Session of the Standing Labour Committee:
1) Shri Prithibi Majhi, Minister of Labour & Employment, Government of Assam;
2) Shri Janardan Singh Sigriwal, Minister of Labour Resources Department, Government of Bihar;
3) Sh. Chandra Shekhar Sahu, Minister of Labour Department, Govt. of Chhattisgarh;
4) Pt. Shiv CharanLal Sharma, Labour & Employment Minister, Govt. of Haryana;
5) Shri Abdul Gani Malik, Minister of Higher Education, Labour & Employment, Govt. of J&K;
6) Shri Shibu Baby John, Labour Minister, Government of Kerala;
7) Shri Mangilal Garasia, Minister of State (Labour) Labour & Employment Department, Govt. of Rajasthan; and
8) Shri Harish Chandra Durgapal, Minister of Labour & Employment, Uttrakhand.
The Central Ministries participating in the meeting were:
Agriculture & Cooperation, Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries, Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Coal, Commerce, Economic Affairs, Environment & Forests, Financial Services, Heavy Industries, Health & Family Welfare, Home Affairs (Inter State Council), Industrial Policy & Promotion, Khadi and Small and Medium Enterprises, Mines, Overseas Indian Affairs, Petroleum & Natural Gas, Planning Commission, Posts, Power, Public Enterprises, Railways, Revenue, Road Transport & Highways, Rural Development, Social Justice & Empowerment, Steel Telecommunications, Textiles, Urban Development and Women & Child Development.
From Employers Group following organizations attended the meeting:
Council of Indian Employers, All India Manufacturers’ Organization, LaghuUdhyogBharati, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Confederation of Indian Industry, The Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India.
From Workers Group following organizations attended the meeting:
BharatiyaMazdoorSangh, Indian National Trade Union Congress, All India Trade Union Congress, Hind MazdoorSabha, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, All India United Trade Union Centre, Trade Union Co-ordination Centre (TUCC), Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Labour Progressive Federation (LPF), United Trades Union Congress (UTUC) and National Front of Indian Trade Unions –Dhanbad (NFITU-DHN).
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