Modi government planning new labour legislation by merging 44 laws under 4 categories to bring in business

New Delhi: Aimed at helping investors and accelerating growth, the Modi government is planning a new labour legislation that would merge 44 labour laws under four categories-- wages, social security, industrial safety and welfare, and industrial relations.

The decision has been taken at an inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah and attended by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar, Commerce and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal among others. "A new Labour Bill will be introduced in the coming session of the Parliament," Gangwar told reporters Tuesday after the hour-long meeting. Gangwar said the draft bill will be placed before the Union Cabinet after which it will be introduced in Lok Sabha, possibly in the second week of the coming Parliament session.

"All major labour unions in the country were consulted by the government for the new labour laws," he said. The four categories will deal with wages, social security, industrial safety and welfare, and industrial relations, an official said. It is expected that the laws related to social security, including the Employees' Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, Employees' State Insurance Corporation Act, Maternity Benefits Act, Building and Other Construction Workers Act and the Employees' Compensation Act will be merged to create a single social security law or code.

Several industrial safety and welfare laws such as the Factories Act, the Mines Act and the Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act, will be merged to create a single category on industrial safety and welfare. The Minimum Wages Act, the Payment of Wages Act, the Payment of Bonus Act, the Equal Remuneration Act and a few others are likely to be merged. The Labour Code on Industrial Relations will combine Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the Trade Unions Act, 1926, and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946. The proposed new labour law will help investors and is expected to accelerate growth, another official said.

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