Bhopal : Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced major labour reforms, with a view to boosting industrial activities for increasing job opportunities, encouraging fresh investments and safeguarding interests of labourers. Shri Chouhan said that the current worldwide corona virus scare has had adversely impacted the economy. The long drawn lockdown period has slowed the economic activities. Now situation is gradually coming back to normal and Madhya Pradesh has also resumed economic activities. However, in the changed circumstances old industries are considering to relocate whereas new ones are giving priority to places having favourable conditions. the Chief Minister said that we have to convert this challenge to an opportunity. The State Government has, therefore, amended the Mandi Act providing to the farmers options like selling their produces from their homes, and produce selling in the Mandis. The increased competition would fetch better returns to the farmers. Similar reforms for industries were long awaited. We intend to augment job opportunities for the people of the State. We have to invite investments in the State. Madhya Pradesh has ample resources like water, land, forests and skilled youth power. This is the right time to amend and fine tune the rules as per new requirements and to simplify them to attract to Madhya Pradesh the industries to be shifted from other places.
Shri Chouhan said that the State Government has made suitable amendments in the Labour Laws as per requirement. This will facilitate establishment of new industries, throwing open job opportunities to the people and the interests of workers would also be safeguarded. This will, in turn, create a more congenial climate for industrial development.
Major Revolutionary Labour Reforms
Registration/License in one day
Earlier, registrations/licenses under the different Labour Laws were issued in 30 days. Now it will be done in 01 day.
As a result of this, the process of issuing registration/licenses for factories, shops, contractors, bidi manufacturers, motor transport workers and Madhya Pradesh Bhavan Tatha Sannirman Karmkar Adhiniyam will be completed in 01 day.
A notification for amendment in the Public Service Guarantee Act to this effect has already been issued.
A provision has been made for renewal of factory license Renewal in 10 years instead of 01 year.
Under the Contract Labour Act the license will be issued for entire contract period instead of the calendar year.
The process of issuing registration/license will be online.
With a view to encouraging the Startups, a provision has been made for one time registration and the provision for renewal has been done away with.
Timings for Opening of Shops Increased
Presently, shops can remain open from 08 in the morning till 10 at night. Now the Shops and Establishment Act has been amended to change the timings from 6 in the morning to 12 O’clock.
A notification to this effect has already been issued.
This significant amendment will create new job opportunities on the one hand; there will be no unnecessary overcrowding in shops, on the other. Social distancing will also be ensured.
Increase in Shifts and Overtime
The duration of shifts in the factories during the period of Covid scare has been increased from 8 hours to 12 hours. Permission for overtime upto 72 hours in a week has also been granted.
During the extra hours the workers will be entitled to overtime as per rules.
The factory employers will be able to change the shifts as per their convenience to increase production.
A notification under the Factory Act has already been issued.
Single Register, Single Return
With a view to simplifying the procedure for work of factories, provision has been made to maintain a single register instead of 61 registers under Labour Laws and to file a single return instead of 13 returns.
Self-certification will suffice to file the return.
Exemption from Various Inspections
Under the Factory Act exemption has been given to factories for factory inspection for a period of 03 months.
The employers will be allowed to have third party inspection of the factory by the
inspectors of their choice.
Earlier, the registration of third party inspectors was done in Mumbai, but now the Labour
Commissioner of Madhya Pradesh has been authorized to do it.
Establishments employing less than 50 workers have been excluded from inspection in various labour laws. Now inspection will be possible only with the permission of the Labour Commissioner and on the basis of complaints
Decline in labour disputes and judicial proceedings
The provisions of the Madhya Pradesh Industrial Relations Act have been relaxed till further orders. Now in factories, trade unions and factory manager will be able to resolve disputes as per their convenience. They will not have to go to the Labour Court for resolving disputes. The notification has been issued.
Exemption in selection and aapointment of workers
With a view to inviting new industries and investors in the next 1000 days in the state, all the provisions except Section 25 of the Industrial Disputes Act have been relaxed. Now industry owners will be able to select workers as per their convenience.
In industries where less than 100 labourers work, exemptions have been given from the provisions of Madhya Pradesh Industrial Employment (Permanent Order) Act. Now most of our MSME industries will be able to hire labourers as per their requirement to increase their productivity.
The Industrial Employment Act law was applicable to establishments with more than 50 workers till now. I has been extended and applied to establishments with more than 100 workers. This will give relief to small industries and they will be able to employ workers as per their requirement.
Proposals of labour reforms, sent to Government of India
Under the Factory Act, units run on power had to be registered in the past for employing 10 labourers in the units, Now we have sent a proposal to the Government of India for the registration on employing 50 labourers. The advantage of this will be that all such units will get freedom from the provisions of the Factory Act and will be able to increase their production to the fullest of their capacity.
Similarly, under the Factory Act, units which run without power had to be registered in the past on employing 20 labourers, Now a proposal has been sent to the Government of India to remove the limit on the number of workers.
The above mentioned small units will get freedom from registrations under the Factory Act.
Under the Contract Labour Act, contractors had to register for employing 20 labourers so far. Now they will be required to do registration. Only after employing 50 labourers or more.
Thus contractors employing less than 50 labourers will be able to work even without registration. This will bring immense relief to small contractors. A proposal has been sent to the Government of India regarding exemption as mentioned above under the Contract Labour Act.
Except for some safety related provisions of the Factory Act, the remaining provisions have been relaxed by the State Government for 3 months. A proposal to relax them for 1000 days is being sent to the Government of India.
A proposal is being sent to the Government of India to make arrangement of compounding for redressal of penal proceedings by agreement under the Contract Labour Act, Inter-State Migrant Workers Act and Motor Transport Workers Act.
Other Labour Reforms (In existence since earlier)
The Industrial Disputes Act has been made effective on the establishment of 300 workers instead of the establishment of 100 workers.
A facility of fixed term employment has been provided for the personnel working on contract in industries and establishments.
The inspection system has been made more transparent under labour laws.
Single window system has been implemented to provide various services.
Women workers are also allowed to work in factories and in IT industries in night shift shifts.
All the procedures for registration and filing of returns under various labour laws are online. No need to go to labour offices for registration and filing returns.
Main benefits of labour reforms
An environment of mutual cooperation will be created between the management and the workers.
Factory owners and shopkeepers and industrialists will not have to visit government offices again and again.
Unnecessary departmental intervention will be eliminated in the actions taken by the industries, transparency will come in the inspection.
Industries will have the right to change shifts at their convenience.