Indian Government is untiringly working towards making India as one of the top spots in Ease of Doing Business global rankings. The World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ assessment covers aspects of business regulation and their implications for firm establishment and operation sin about 190 countries. India had jumped 30 positions to reach the top 100 most business friendly nations in the list in the current year’s index.
During 2016/17, India carried out eight specific reform measures to become the only economy in South Asia to make it to the list of 10 top improvers.
> The list of reforms that helped India last year:
Understanding the need of the hour, present Union Government has decided to make existing Industrial, Labour and Welfare laws logical in context of 21st Century, and because of this strong will, India continue to achieve at global stage to make its mark in terms of business friendly nations.
> Out of the several reforms the most significant industrial reforms were:
> Future of Factories Act in the time to come
The Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was passed by the lower house of parliament on Aug. 10, 2016. The bill would significantly expand the powers of state governments in the regulation of employment:
However, Bill is still pending before the Upper House for its approval and signing by the Hon’ble President.
Further, Government of India as part of labour reforms has undertaken drive to rationalize 38 Labour Acts through
◊ Code on Wages
The Code on Wages Bill, 20178 proposes to replace four federal labor laws: The Minimum Wages Act, 1948; The Payment of Wages Act, 1936; The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965; and The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.
1. The revised code will ensure minimum wages for all employees and timely payment of wages.
2. The Wage Code will introduce a national minimum wage to be administered by the federal government
3. The central or state governments can set the number of hours that constitute a working day
4. Employers may make deductions from employee wages only for specified purposes.
5. Penalties for violations of the Wage Code will be progressive based on the seriousness of the offense.
◊ Code on Social Security (provident fund & gratuity)
The Employees’ Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 is one of India’s most important social security laws. There are proposals to amend the act by:
1. reducing the employee number threshold for coverage from 20 to 10.
2. allowing small establishments employing up to 40 workers to contribute at the rate of 9 percent to 12 percent of wages instead of the standard 12 percent.
3. increasing the wage threshold for coverage from the current 15,000 rupees per month to 21,000 rupees
◊ Code on Industrial Relations &
◊ Code on Occupational Safety
Such steps of the Government to codify the labour laws will help in eliminating multiplicity of definitions and authorities leading to ease of compliance without compromising wage security and social security to workers.
”Hope to witness a new beginning”