Rajya Sabha passes three Labour Code Bills

New Delhi: – On Wednesday, three Labour Code bills were passed in the Rajya Sabha. The bills were passed with a voice vote and will be sent to the President for final signatures. Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister for Labour, said that the process started by the union government, for amendments in the labour laws is vital for the welfare of workers.   

The Rajya Sabha passed the bills ‘Code of Occupational Safety’, ‘Health and Working Condition or Industrial Relation Code’ and ‘Social Security Code’ on Wednesday. Following these amendments, a company with up to 300 employees will not require permission, from the government for closure or workforce reduction. Currently, this law applies to companies with employee strength less than 100. 

Minister for Labour, Santosh Kumar Gangwar said ‘Having this law only for companies having employee strength less than 100 is not useful as this instigates the companies to reduce employment or purposely show the employee strength less than 100. But this increase to include companies having employee strength up to 300, will increase employment opportunities. Companies will be encouraged to employ more people.’ Gangwar pointed out that 16 states have already passed legislation in this regard.   

The existing complicated labour laws are detrimental to employment generation. The investors were reconsidering investing in India due to the archaic labour laws in the country. Therefore, the government decided to combine provisions related to labour, divided into more than 50 laws, into four codes. The work on this was started in 2014. Of these, the ‘Code of Wages Bill’ has already been passed by the parliament. This had the provisions for minimum wages and timely payment for the workers.   

Of the three codes passed on Wednesday, Code of Occupational Safety’ includes nine laws, ‘Health and Working Condition or Industrial Relation Code’ consists of 13 laws and ‘Social Security Code’ includes 30 laws. The parliamentary committee had made 233 suggestions for these three codes. The labour ministry decided to include 174 suggestions after a detailed study.  

Meanwhile, Foreign Contribution Regulation Amendment Act 2020 was passed in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. As per this bill, it will be mandatory for the NGOs to submit Aadhaar Cards of their officials and people connected with politics cannot accept foreign grants.   

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