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Santosh Kumar Gangwar gone, labour codes, relief measure for migrants challenges for new minister

Having finalised the rules for the codes, the government had earlier aimed for the April 1 deadline for rollout of the four labour codes, but it got stuck as coordination with states did not gain pace, as was initially planned.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
Updated: July 8, 2021 10:39:00 am
Santosh Kumar Gangwar

With Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar’s exit, pending enactment of labour codes and providing relief measures for migrant workers will be key challenges ahead for the new minister.

The NDA government, in its first term, had announced its intent to have four labour codes — industrial relations, wages, social security and welfare and occupational safety, health and working conditions — by amalgamating, simplifying and rationalising relevant provisions of the existing 44 central labour laws.

Although the necessary legislation have been cleared by Parliament, they are yet to be enforced.

Having finalised the rules for the codes, the government had earlier aimed for the April 1 deadline for rollout of the four labour codes, but it got stuck as coordination with states did not gain pace, as was initially planned.

“Major states were on board but the coordination process for rule making takes time. States are required to finalise their set of rules, which hasn’t happened yet,” a senior government official said.

The enforcement of the four labour codes has been cited by the industry as crucial for the next phase of labour reforms, even as trade unions have often raised their concerns for not being engaged as required in the rule making processes of the four codes.

The pending work for the database for migrant workers is another key unresolved issue which the new Labour Minister will have to deal with.

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