By Samuel Mathai
Bhopal: In a bid to boost industrial activities, increase job opportunities, encourage fresh investments, and to safeguard the interests of labourers, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan Thursday announced a slew of major labour reforms.
The chief minister said that lockdown has slowed economic activities of the state but the situation is now gradually returning to normal and Madhya Pradesh has also begun to resume regular economic activities.
He stated that the state government has made suitable amendments in the labour laws as per requirement to facilitate the establishment of new industries, throwing open job opportunities to the people and the interests of workers would also be safeguarded.
Among the key amendments, the state has decided to offer registrations and licenses under different labour laws in a single day as opposed to the 30 days provisioned till now. As a result the process of issuing registration and licenses for factories, shops, contractors, bidi manufacturers, motor transport workers and others will be done in a day.
A provision has been made for the renewal of factory license renewals in ten years instead of one. Under the Contract Labour Act the license will be issued for the entire contract period instead of just for the calendar year and the process of issuing registration/license will be online.
The Shops and Establishment Act has been amended to change the timings of opening of shops. Earlier, it was from 8 AM-10 PM and now with the amendment shops could be opened from 6 AM-midnight.
With a notification on the Factory Act, the duration of shifts in factories during the Covid-19 pandemic has been increased from 8 hours to 12.
Permission for overtime up to 72 hours in a week has also been granted, with workers now entitled to payments for the same.
To end Inspector Raj in industries, factories would now be allowed to keep one register and file returns instead of 61 registers and mandatory 13 returns, with a self-certification facility for manufacturers to file returns.
With a view to invite fresh investment in the coming days, all provisions except section 25 of the Industrial Disputes Act that pertains to safety of labourers have been relaxed. Now industry owners will be able to select workers as per their convenience.
The Industrial Disputes Act has been made effective on the establishment of 300 workers instead of the establishment of 100 workers and several disputes can now be mutually settled by management and workers without resorting to moving courts.
Departmental intervention will be eliminated in the actions taken by the industries and transparency will come in the inspection, Chouhan promised industries while adding that certain amendments have been forwarded to the Centre for approval.
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