Labour Ministry to finalise rules under 4 codes by this week to make reforms a reality soon

Source: Reuters

Source: Reuters

The Ministry of Labour and Employment is likely to complete the process to finalise the rules under the four labour codes paving the way for making reforms are reality soon.

Besides, the ministry is also progressing to roll out a web portal by June 2021 for registration and other facilities of workers in the unorganised sector, including gig and platform workers and migrant workers as enshrined in her budget speech this year by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

“Rule making process is already underway and likely to complete in the coming week. All stakeholders are also consulted in framing of rules. This ministry would soon be in a position to bring into force the four Codes, viz., Code on Wages, Industrial Relations, Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions (OSH) and Social Security Codes,” Labour Secretary Apurva Chandra in a media briefing on Monday.

The labour ministry had envisaged implementing the four labour codes from April 1 this year in one go.

The ministry is in the final leg of amalgamating 44 central labour laws into four broad codes on wages, industrial relations, social security and OSH.

The ministry wants to implement all four codes in one go.

The work on setting up of the portal for informal workers by this ministry is progressing as per the schedule, Chandra told reporters adding that the portal will collect relevant information on gig, building and construction workers, among others.

The portal will help formulate Health, Housing, Skill, Insurance, Credit and food schemes for migrant workers.

Chandra informed that the portal will be rolled out by May or June 2021 for registration and other facilities of workers in the unorganised sector, including gig and platform workers and migrant workers.

The enrolled workers on the portal will be provided with an incentive of free coverage for a period of one year for accidental and disability cover under Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bhima Yojana (PMSBY).

Chandra also told that the Labour Bureau, an attached office under this ministry, has started vigorously work on four new survey for Migrant workers, Domestic workers, Employment generated by Professionals and Transport Sector.

The Bureau will also commission ‘All India Establishment based Employment Survey (AIEES)’.

Results of all these surveys are likely to come within eight to nine months from the start of actual field surveys, he added.

About the budget proposal to bar employers for taking deduction of delayed amount of social security contributions, Chandra said, “It is a very good announcement in the budget as it will provide security of amount deducted by employer towards payment of contribution deducted from employee on account of employees Provident Fund and Employees Insurance Scheme.”

On the rationalisation of tax-free income on provident funds, he said, “This decision will stop high net worth individuals to misuse a welfare facility and earn wrongfully tax-free income as assured interest return. Interest portion is calculable on a year-to-year basis just like bank interest.”

Under the provision, taxpayers will be required to include the annual income from contribution beyond Rs 2.5 lakh into their PF accounts while filing their returns.