House panel to vet two labour codes

Economic Times, December 13, 2019

The labour ministry is preparing to send two crucial labour code Bills, on industrial relations and social security, to the Parliament’s standing committee of labour for vetting the technical proposals.
The ministry has decided to seek the committee’s views as it feels the proposals will have farreaching implications, but the move may slow down the pace of labour reforms being pushed by the government, as three of the four labour Bills will be held up for wider consultations.

While the labour code on industrial relations proposes to restrict the powers of trade unions, that on social security seeks giving employees an option to reduce their PF contribution, among others dozen proposal under each code. The labour code on occupational safety, health and working conditions has been pending with the standing committee for more than four months now, and the ministry feels it would be the earliest to be available for consideration in the Budget session.

A senior government official told ET that there were so many technical provisions in each of the Bills that it must be vetted by an independent body. “The ministry would like to send both Bills to the standing committee,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Labour minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar has already introduced both Bills in the Lok Sabha after approval from the Union Cabinet. The speaker will now take a decision on sending the Bills to the standing committee on labour on the advice of the labour ministry.

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