PM Narendra Modi's labour reforms on Opposition radar

Last Updated 29 January 2020, 16:50 IST

Ahead of the Budget Session, the Opposition is gearing up to take on the Modi government over its ambitious attempt to overhaul the country's labour laws to attract investments to kick start the economy.

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar on Wednesday targeted the Modi government on the proposed labour reforms and urged Opposition parties to join hands against the move by keeping aside political differences.

Speaking at a function to observe the first death anniversary of veteran socialist leader George Fernandes, Pawar hit out at the Modi government's “anti-labour” policies and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of opening up diverse sectors for foreign direct investments at the cost of the domestic industry.

“The present government has proposed to bring four labour codes, subsuming more than 40 labour laws. This government is pursuing anti-labour policies and is in violation of the international labour conventions. Had George Fernandes bee n here, he would have never allowed this,” Pawar said.

After returning to power in May last year, the Modi government has made a renewed push for labour reforms and succeeded in getting Parliament nod for the Code on Wages that replaced four laws governing wages and bonus payments to employees.

The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, currently under examination of a parliamentary committee, seeks to replace 13 laws related to safety, health and working conditions in factories and establishments.

The Code on Social Security replaces nine laws related to social security and is under scrutiny of the Parliamentary committee.

The Labour Code on Industrial Relations will combine Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the Trade Unions Act, 1926, and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946.

Besides the Opposition parties, RSS-linked labour organisations too have opposed the reforms, which have passed muster in Parliament on account of BJP's brute majority in the Lok Sabha and some deft floor management in the Rajya Sabha.

(Published 29 January 2020, 15:47 IST)

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