Tuesday, October 28, 2014

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Labour Minister Sh Narendra Singh Tomar calls for ‘balanced approach’ towards labourers

The Union Minister of Labour & Employment, Steel and Mines, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar called upon industry and trade unions to strike a balance in dealing with labour issues. Chairing a tripartite consultation meeting on Amendment to the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 here today, he said that there is a need to maintain a balanced approach towards the welfare of labourers. 

Shri Tomar said that the Government is committed to protect the interests of labourers so that they remain at the heart of country’s growth story. In his address, the Minister said, “We want to increase the purchasing power of the labourer. When production from industrial units increase, the purchasing power of the labourer also increases”. 

The Minister informed that eligibility limit and calculation ceiling under Sections 2(13) and 12 of the Act, were last revised from Rs. 3500/- to Rs. 10000/- p.m. and Rs 2500/- to Rs. 3500/- respectively in the year 2007 and made effective w.e.f 1.4.2006. He said, “I am aware that a long time has passed since then and these ceilings have lost their relevance presently”.

Shri Tomar said that the present system of two wage ceiling for reckoning entitlement should be suitably enhanced from time to time. In view of changing 
scenario and price rise, the Minister asked the participants to deliberate upon the Ministry’s proposal to amend the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, by enhancing the eligibility ceiling under section 2(13) of the Act form Rs. 10,000/- per month to Rs. 18,000/- per month and calculation ceiling under section 12 from Rs. 3500/- per month to Rs. 6000/- per month. He said that this was recommended by the Standing Committee on Labour in its 46th Session held on 31st January 2014. 

The Payment of Bonus Act was enacted in the year 1965 (25th September, 1965) to provide for the payment of bonus to persons engaged in certain establishments on the basis of profits or on the basis of production and for matters connected therewith. The Act is applicable to whole of India. 

The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 provides for payment of bonus to the employees of ‘factories’ and ‘establishments’ employing 20 or more persons, excluding some categories of employees in Life Insurance Corporation, Seamen, Dock Workers, University employees, as per section 8 of the Act, every employee shall be entitled to be paid by his employer in accounting year, bonus, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, provided he has worked in establishment for not less than thirty working days in that year. 

Present on the occasion were Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Smt. Gauri Kumar, senior officials of various central ministries, representatives of the State Governments, SCOPE, Industries and central trade unions. 

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