BMS asks government to send code on social security to parliamentary panel

Economic Times, December 18, 2019

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated trade union Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) has asked the government to send the Code on Social Security, 2019 to the parliamentary standing committee for further scrutiny saying it lacks universal character. The bill was introduced in Lok Sabha by labour minister Santosh Gangwar on December 11.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, BMS said the code will not benefit the entire 500 million workforce of the country.

It said its main concern regarding the code was “the lack of its universal character, since the existing thresholds for applicability of provident fund, employee state insurance, gratuity, maternity benefits have not been removed”.

“Last worker in the country, especially in the unorganised sector, will have to wait probably another century to get all the social security benefits,” BMS said.

The trade union said the government needs to ensure that employers’ contribution to Employees’ Provident Fund remains at 12% in the scheme instead of 10% proposed in the code. “Otherwise worker will be losing a huge amount in the long run,” it said.

The Industrial Relations Code and the Code on Social Security could be referred to the standing committee for vetting for wider scrutiny, according to people aware of the matter.

As part of its reform initiatives, the labour ministry has decided to amalgamate 44 labour laws into four codes — on wages, industrial relations, social security and safety, and health and working conditions.

The Code on Social Security is the last of the four labour codes that have been approved by the Cabinet.

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