PM unveils labour reforms

New Delhi: Back from an election campaign that promises to enhance his reputation as a winner, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unveiled a series of measures that would transform the labour scene in the country.

Seen as an embodiment of his government’s mantra of ‘minimum government and maximum governance’, these steps are aimed at ending the inspector raj and replacing it with a transparent labour inspection scheme to check arbitrariness.

We have replaced 16 forms (which factory owners had to fill) with one form, which is available online. Now computer draw will decide which inspector (labour) will go for inspection to which factory and he will have to upload his report online in 72 hours. These facilities are what I call minimum government, maximum governance. I have been hearing about ‘inspector raj’ since childhood,” the prime minister said at an event organised by the union labour ministry to launch the ‘Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Shramev Jayate Karyakram.’

Thus far the units for inspection were selected locally without any objective criteria, allowing inspectors to harass unit owners and even exploit them in cases of violation of rules. The new scheme envisages that serious matters will be covered under the mandatory inspection list.

On this occasion, PM Modi dedicated a number of schemes under ‘Shramev Jayate’ (work alone triumphs) programme which includes portability through universal account number for employee provident fund, single window portal to enable doing business with labour ministry and labour inspection scheme in central sphere.

The prime minister, who has already launched a global “Make in India” programme to promote the country as a manufacturing destination, said that it is the responsibility of the government to simplify processes for doing trade. “Ease of business is the first and foremost requirement if ‘Make in India’ has to be made successful,” he added. He sent SMS messages to the stakeholders as a part of the launch event and observed that the event was different from other launches as the message has reached all of them at the same time.

In a key message to the working class, the prime minister stressed his desire to see that the Rs 27 thousand crore, which was lying unclaimed in PF accounts, is given back to their claimants. He said: “If mobile subscribers get connectivity everywhere they go, why cannot migrating labour force continue to get PF benefits. I have to give back this money to the poor. This Rs 27 thousand crore belongs to the poor,” he said, even as he took a dig at this critics for questioning his vision.

“Those who ask, ‘What is Modi’s vision’, won’t be able to see this because the power of their spectacles has gone up just looking for a vision,” he said.

Shramev Jayate

  • Easier movement of accounts in the Provident Fund scheme by using universal account number
  • End of Inspector Raj: The 16 forms which factory owners had to fill replaced with one form, which will be filled online
  • Inspection of businesses will be made more transparent, with a computer lottery being used to pick the enterprises to be inspected and officials required to upload a report within 72 hours
  • Labour problems will be seen through the eyes of the shramik (worker) not industrialists
  • Single window portal for doing business with labour ministry

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