Article 123 Current Affairs

President gives assent to Payment of Wages (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016

President Pranab Mukherjee has given assent to Payment of Wages (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016, to enable industries to pay wages by cheque or credit into the bank accounts of workers.

The ordinance amends the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 to encourage cashless transactions. With this assent the ordinance becomes law as per article 123 of the Constitution.

Key Provisions of Ordinance
  • Allows industries to pay wages to workers earning up to Rs. 18,000 per month, without taking their explicit consent as required under present Act.
  • Empowers the Union and State governments to specify industries or establishments where wage payments can be made mandatory through banks.
  • However, it is not mandatory for employers to make wage payments through the banking system and they can still pay in cash.
Background

The Union Government had decided to take the ordinance route because after demonetisation of the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 banknotes in November 2016 had led to a cash crunch, and employers were finding it tough to pay workers in cash. The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill, 2016, introduced in Parliament was also not able get passed during winter session of the Parliament.

Article 123 of Constitution: It gives legislative power to President. He can issue ordinances when Parliament is not in session (i.e. recess) if there is urgent need to have a law on some urgent public matter. The promulgated ordinance has similar effect to an act of parliament. However, every ordinance must be laid and approved by both houses of the parliament within 6 weeks from the reassembling. If not placed and approved by both houses of the parliament after reassembling it lapses or becomes invalid.

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President promulgates Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 2016

President Pranab Mukherjee has promulgated the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 2016 to make amendments to the Enemy Property Act, 1968.

The Ordinance was promulgated by President as per provisions of Article 123 of Constitution of India that gives him legislative powers in consultation with Council of Union Ministers.

The proposed amendments in the parent Act seeks to deal with the loopholes in the existing law.

Proposed Amendments are

  • Once an enemy property is vested to the Custodian it shall continue to be vested in him. It shall not revert back to enemy subject or enemy firm due to reasons such as death of subject or firm ceased to function.
  • The law of succession does not apply to enemy property. Henceforth there cannot be transfer of any property vested in the custodian by an enemy till it is disposed of in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Enemy properties

  • In the wake of the two India-Pakistan wars in 1965 and 1971, there was migration of people from India to Pakistan.
  • The properties and companies of such migrated persons (acquired Pakistani nationality) were confiscated by Union Government under the Defence of India Rules framed under Defence of India Act.
  • These enemy properties were vested in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India by the Union Government.
  • In the Tashkent Declaration (signed in 1966), a clause was included to discuss the return of the assets and property taken over by either side in connection with the conflict. However, Pakistan Government had disposed of all such enemy properties in their country in 1971.

Enemy Property Act, 1968

The act provided for the continuous vesting of enemy property in the custodian. The possession of enemy properties spread across many states in the country vest with the Union Government through the Custodian of Enemy Property for India.

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