The labour ministry will continue consultations with all stakeholders on policy issues and expedite reforms by amending laws to create jobs, Union Minister Santosh Gangwar said. On assuming charge as the Minister of State for Labour, he said the ministry will continue to hold tripartite consultations, involving government, unions and industry. “We will work as per the need of the nation. We will take along all. In finance ministry also we talked about taking along all unions and not just Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS),” he told reporters.
Gangwar was the Minister of State for Finance so far; in yesterday’s Cabinet reshuffle he was given independent charge of the labour ministry. On trade unions’ allegations of being bulldozed and the government giving no heed to their demands and suggestions, the minister said: “We are positive towards all trade unions and we will take all of them along. I don’t think that there would be any issue regarding this.”
The minister said there is a lot work to be done at the ministry while assuring that the tasks undertaken by his predecessor, Bandaru Dattatreya, will be completed.
After the BJP government took over at the Centre in May 2014, the BMS was called for discussion on issues related to 12 Charter of Demand of the trade unions and codes on wages and industrial relations exclusively. This caused resentment among other central trade unions. Later, however, the ministry at various joint for a discussed with other unions the contentious issues related to labour reforms, contemplating changes in laws to improve ease of doing business in the country.
Gangwar further said: “The way nation is progressing in the twenty first century, our ministry will also work at same pace. After working with the Prime Minister, I learnt that that one and one is not two but eleven. We will work at that pace.” Gangwar will have to deal with many issue including drafting a National Employment Policy, structuring 44 labour laws into four codes, building quality employment data, amending several labour laws and finding innovative way to improve employment scenario in the country.