Govt mulling proposal to amend Contract Labour Act

NEW DELHI, Oct 10:
Observing that huge difference in wages between regular and contract workers was leading to unrest, Government today said a proposal to amend the Contract Labour Act was under consideration.
Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said, “A proposal to amend the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act 1970 safeguarding interest of contract workers is under consideration”.
Speaking at a ‘India staffing conclave’ function here, he said, “Huge difference in wages between regular and contract workers was leading to unrest”.
At present, employment on contract basis or outsourcing is regulated under the Act.
According to a study by the V V Giri National Labour Institute, contract labour accounts for 55 per cent of public sector jobs and 45 per cent of all private sector jobs.
Kharge said as India is founder member of ILO, all decisions for amending labour laws are taken after evolving consensus.
He said the UPA government has amended nine labour laws after exhaustive deliberations while the Cabinet has recently given approval for amending the Child Labour Act and Employment Exchange Act.
Amendments to four other key labour laws such as the Minimum Wages Act, Employees Provident Fund Act are also in the pipeline, he said.
Drawing attention to the skill development initiative of the government, he said training capacity has been increased by three times from nine lakh in 2006-07 to 26 lakh in 2011-12.
While the overall target of the government is to train 500 million persons by 2022, Kharge’s Ministry has been set a target of training 100 million.
Kharge released a report on the trend in the flexi staffing industry in the country, which found that India is among top five nations in terms of flexi workers base which is currently at 1.3 million and is projected to grow to nine million by 2025.
Flexi staffing is one form of contract staffing where an organisation benefits because of its staffing flexibility especially when current projects require extra work force and at short notice.
According to Indian Staffing Federation, which organised the function, persons who are graduates or have higher secondary certificate or secondary certificate hold the largest share of flexi jobs.
Retail, telecom, manufacturing pharma, hospitality and agriculture, it said, are increasingly going flexi.
According to the report, 75 per cent of the firms surveyed said flexi staffing helped reduce recruitment cost while 58 per cent claimed flexi staffing helped them respond quickly to business volatility. (PTI)


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