Factories Act: Centre firm on amendment

Panel opposed move to ‘lift’ threshold

The Centre will go ahead with its proposal to amend the Factories Act of 1948 by giving flexibility to State governments to enhance the threshold limit over which a unit will be considered a factory despite concerns flagged by a Parliamentary Standing Committee.

The proposal was discussed at a tripartite meeting chaired by Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya with representatives of trade unions, industries and State governments.

The Standing Committee, examining the proposed changes, however, observed in 2014 that “if the amendment is carried out more than 70% of the factory establishments in the country will be out of the coverage of the Factories Act and workers will be at the mercy of employers.”

The Ministry of Labour and Employment did not agree with the committee’s observations and said that it had only given flexibility to State governments to fix the threshold limit and “all the factories, including the one which employs a single worker may also be brought under the purview of the act thus, in fact, increasing the total number of workers covered under the Act.”

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