The government on Tuesday introduced the Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill and the Code on Wages Bill in Lok Sabha, a move opposed by the opposition which demanded that the proposed legislation be sent to a standing committee for scrutiny.
The proposed Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill, 2019, would enhance the coverage of workers manifold and also merge 13 central labour laws into a single code which would apply to all establishments employing 10 or more workers.
The proposed code enhances coverage of workers manifold as it would be applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more workers, where any industry, trade, business, manufacture or occupation is carried on, including IT establishments or establishments of service sector.
The Code on Wages Bill seeks to subsume existing laws related to workers’ remuneration and enables the Centre to fix minimum wages for the entire country.
The Code on Wages is one of the four codes that would subsume 44 labour laws with certain amendments to improve the ease of doing business and attract investment for spurring growth.
Opposing the introduction of the bill, Adhir Ranjan Chowdury, Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, said this is a big issue and the bill has to be sent to a standing committee for scrutiny.
He said it will be a “grave injustice” if the bill is not sent to a parliamentary panel for scrutiny. It also needs allocation of more time for discussion, Chowdhury added.
RSP’s N K Premachandran and Saugata Roy also demanded that the bills be sent to parliamentary panels for scrutiny as their passage will have large scale ramifications.
Responding to queries, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code was sent to the Standing Committee during the last Lok Sabha.
Gangwar said the legislations have been drafted after consulting 13 workers’ organisations and he will try to assuage concerns raised by the members.
On opposition to the introduction of the bill, especially The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code 2019 Bill, Gangwar said let the bill be introduced and the House can take a call later.