October 11, 2012 12:39:34 am
The government is mulling amendments to the Contract Labour Act in order to bring wage parity between permanent and contractual workers that would help prevent a repeat of incidents of labour unrest like those seen at automaker Marutis Manesar plant.
A proposal to amend the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act 1970 safeguarding interest of contract workers is under consideration, labour minister Mallikarjun Kharge said on Wednesday.
The labour ministry had in 2010 moved amendments to the Contract Labour Act,1971 to ensure that contract workers get the same wages,facilities and benefits as regular employees as well as enjoy health cover and social security benefits under the Employees State Insurance Corporation and Employees Provident Fund,respectively.
The amendments are still being debated after the finance ministry said that it could cost the government as much as Rs 11,000 crore as the public sector also has a large number of contract workers on its rolls. A committee of secretaries led by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth is yet to reach an agreement on the issue.
Kharge said as India is founder member of ILO,all decisions for amending labour laws are taken after evolving consensus. Huge difference in wages between regular and contract workers was leading to unrest. At present,employment on contract basis is regulated under the Act, he said.
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