As India restarts economic activity after over 40 days of nationwide lockdown, some states are relaxing labour laws to make it easy for industries to get back on their feet. A day after Madhya Pradesh government announced to dilute labour laws for 1,000 days, the Yogi Adityanath-led UP govt has decided to keep all labour laws, except four, in abeyance for next three years.
The move apparently aims to attract new companies to invest in the state amid the ongoing coronavirus lockdown which has affected economic and business activities in the state badly. “An ordinance in this regard is ready and will become law only after it receives the president's assent,” a senior official said.
A total of 38 labour laws have been suspended. However, norms laws related to bonded labour, deployment of women and children and timely payment of salaries will continue to be in force.
An official said, “Only four laws that will continue to be applicable are Section 5 of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, Workmen Compensation Act, 1932, Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, and the Building and Other Construction Workers Act, 1996.
The Congress criticised the Adityanath government for relaxing the labour laws, with the party’s state unit chief Ajay Kumar Lallu saying the government only cares about big businesses and not about the rights of labourers.
Trade unions have condemned the blanket exemption to employers from labour laws and termed the move as regressive.