Constitution & Law Current Affairs - 2019
Summary of latest bill and acts passed or pending in 2019 in Parliament of India with their salient features and issues for Current Affairs 2019 preparation for various examinations such as UPSC, SSC, State Civil Services, CLAT, Judicial Services etc.
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The Labour Ministry has drafted the Small Factories (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) Bill, 2014 and asked for comments from stakeholders. The Bill is likely to be tabled in the Parliament during its winter session.
Application of law
This law will apply to micro, small and medium enterprises that employ up to 40 employees.
Consolidation of law and procedure
The Bill, if passed, will replace over 44 central labour laws and 100 state laws and streamline the process. A single compliance report, that can be filed online, will fulfill all the requirements under various legislations. Outdated provisions, with no relevance in today’s age and time, have been removed.
Registration of units
The factories covered under the bill will have to register within 60 days of commencement of business. Each employer will be provided a labour identification number, and he can register his factory online.
Payment of wages
The employer will have to transfer the wages to the accounts of the employees. Payment of wages in cash is disallowed. This will help the regulatory agency monitor payment of wages and also give a boost to financial inclusion.
Protection of basic rights
The registration of the units with the authorities will help them monitor the benefits being provided to the employees by employer. The bill clearly states the working hours, minimum wages, overtime wages, provision of leave, social security benefits and conditions for retrenchment of workers.
Any malpractices can be challenged before the Conciliation Officer, appointed in accordance with the Bill.
Need for legislation
The requirement of a separate labour law for small scale industries was identified by the Second National Commission on Labour in 2000. The Commission said that such a law would encourage small scale industries and also boost employment opportunities.
The Centre has deferred the rollout of the National Food Security Act for the second time in a year. The deadline of October 2014 has been extended for another six months
The National Food Security Act was passed in July 2013. At that time, states were given one year to identify beneficiaries and put in measures to provide subsidized foodgrains to them. However, after a year’s time, most states had still not made progress. Hence, an extension of another four months till October was given. But, since many states have still not managed to put the required infrastructure in place for implementation of the provision of the National Food Security Act, another extension of six months has been given by the Central Government.
Lack of readiness
A large number of states wanted the nation wide rollout of the National Food Security Act to be deferred because they were not ready to implement it. The onus of identifying the beneficiaries was put on the states by the National Food Security Act. Many states have yet to finalise the beneficiaries, and there has been a lot of debate on how to identify them. Also, most states who weren’t implementing their own foodgrain distribution programs have to establish infrastructure from scratch. Information about fair price shops have to be digitised and godowns built to store enough foodgrains for such a far-reaching program. 11 states and Union Territories, namely Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi and Chandigarh have partially or fully implemented the National Food Security Act. However, many of the large states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have not yet put the required mechanism in place.