A bill to raise the ceiling of gratuity for employees to Rs 10 lakh from Rs 3.5 lakh was passed by the Lok Sabha without discussion today. The House, which witnessed an opposition furore over the 2G spectrum “scam” and reports about alleged involvement of a central minister in an illegal arms deal, also adopted the Employees’ State Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2009 without any debate.
The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill 2010, introduced by Minister of State for Labour Harish Rawat last month, was passed by a voice vote as AIADMK and some CPI(M) members trooped into the well raising slogans.
The bill seeks to amend the Gratuity Act to enhance the amount of gratuity payable to an employee from Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. The legislation was brought following demands from trade unions and others to remove the ceiling or increase the maximum payable amount, which was fixed in 1997.
The House also passed the Employees’ State Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2009 to provide for medicare to unorganised sector workers, especially those below the poverty line.
The bill, proposes that the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) should participate in the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana to cover BPL workers in the unorganised sector.
The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the bill said it also proposed to increase the age limit of dependents from 18 to 21 years and provide for claims for accidents occurring at work or while going to work.
The legislation was brought to the House in 2008 to replace an ordinance and was then sent to the concerned parliamentary standing committee.