New labour law plan merges 44 laws under 4 categrories

The Modi government is planning new labour legislation that would merge 44 labour laws under four categories. (PTI Photo)

The Narendra Modi government is preparing to introduce a bill that reduces 44 labour laws to four as part of its labour reforms agenda in the upcoming Parliament session with Home Minister Amit Shah chairing an inter-ministerial meeting on the issue.

The meeting chaired by Shah was attended by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

Sources said background work for the Bill is over and claimed that labour unions are on board.

There are 44 labour laws at present and of this, seven are redundant and one has gone to skill development. The rest 32 would be bunched into four groups, which is likely to deal with wages, social security, industrial safety and welfare, and industrial relations.

"The Bill will soon go to the Cabinet and once cleared, it will be placed before Parliament," a senior official said.

The government had attempted to get the bills passed in Modi government's first tenure but due to opposition from trade unions and other parties, it could not move forward.

The Modi dispensation pitches this move as an industry-friendly measure, which does not affect labour rights. However, the trade unions were not impressed.

A senior trade union leader said they would comment once the contours of the Bill is made public but warned the government against diluting the rights of labourers.

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