Industry concerned over amendment Bills

NEW DELHI Jan. 3. Industry has expressed serious concern over the amendment Bills relating to the ID Act, contract labour and payment of bonus laws, saying that these changes will damage the industry in the present highly competitive business environment.

In a statement, articulating the views of the trade and industry, the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) said that introduction of the private Bills had come at a time when the second National Commission on Labour had submitted its recommendations to the Government on labour law reforms which were already under serious consideration of the Government.

The suggestion made in the ID Act (Amendment) Bill for removing the ceiling of wages from the definition of workmen is disastrous as it proposes to encompass all the persons employed in the supervisory capacity as workmen which, according to industry, is likely to increase not only multiplicity of litigation but will affect the working environment, adversely affecting the efficiency, productivity as well as discipline.

Similarly the amendment brought forward in the Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act is equally damaging since it suggests automatic absorption of contract labour in regular employment in the establishment, if the particular process is declared as of permanent nature by the appropriate Government.

This goes against the spirit of recommendation of the National Commission of Labour which has advocated the liberalisation of the rigid laws concerning engagement of contract labour and will nullify the efforts of the Government to create more jobs, the ASSOCHAM said.

The Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Bill had proposed the removing the existing ceiling of Rs. 3500 wages as eligibility to bonus and extending the coverage to every employee in the undertaking.

Industry felt that in the present intense competitive environment where many marginal units are struggling for survival the proposed amendment will be disastrous for many marginal units.

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