Replicating the model implemented by the BJP government in Rajasthan, the Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government in Haryana is set to amend Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. The proposed amendment will enable enterprises with up to 300 employees to lay off workers without the government’s permission.
To be brought in the next assembly session, the move will benefit medium enterprises but is likely to spark off protests by workers across the state.
On the last day of the assembly’s winter session Tuesday Khattar said, “There was also a proposal to bring an amendment in the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. Under this Act, a unit employing 100 or more workers must take the permission of the state government before resorting to any lay-off, retrenchment or closure. The government has a proposal to raise the limit from 100 workers to 300 workers.” He described the move as a “welfare measure” for workers.
“This is an anti-worker move. We will protest it,” said former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Amit Yadav, president of Haryana unit of INTUC, said, “This move is going to ruin workers in the state. The government cannot do it without consulting trade unions. The moment the government tries to implement this, we will launch our protest.”
Surender Malik, state president of CITU, said, “If the limit is increased to 300 workers or more, such an amendment is yet another support given to the industrialists by the government. This is a typical BJP government functioning. If implemented, more than 80 per cent of the industrialists will be out of the ambit of the law. The government will deprive the workers of their minimum democratic rights. Unions across the country will protest against the move.”
However, Haryana Labour and Employment Minister Capt Abhimanyu said, “We also have to see how to improve the ease of doing business. Despite the industry objecting to it, we increased the workers’ minimum wages. We have to see to it that there is a positive climate for industrial growth. It will generate more employment as well.”