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Lok Sabha passes three crucial Bills on labour laws, with Opposition absent

The Opposition parties had boycotted the House before the Bill was moved in the House for its passage.

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Lok Sabha

New Delhi, Sep 22 : The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed three crucial labour law bills with voice vote in the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government’s labour reform initiatives.

The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020; the Industrial Relations Code, 2020; and the Code on Social Security, 2020 were passed when the Opposition was not present in the House as part of its protest against the government’s two farm Bills passed on Sunday amid widespread protest in various state by farmers.

The Opposition parties had boycotted the House before the Bill was moved in the House for its passage.

Minister of State with independent charge in the Ministry of Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar had introduced these Bills on September 19 with substantive changes after withdrawing the three codes tabled in the Parliament in 2019.

In his concluding remark following debate on these code Bills, Gangwar said various changes have been done in the labour court as well as in the preamble, and that 174 out of 233 or 74 per cent of the recommendations of the standing committee on labour across three codes have been included.

The codes will give powers to state governments on rules related to hiring, retrenchment and fixing work hours in their factories and establishments while restricting powers of the workers to form unions. Besides, it will ensure the government extends social security to all, including the unorganised and gig workers in a phased manner.

The union labour ministry has consolidated and amalgamated 29 labour laws into four codes to significantly improve the ease of compliance and hiring and firing of workers while keeping the labour welfare under consideration. The government had earlier notified the Code on Wages which provides for national level floor wage for all workers.

The Code, is however, yet to be implemented.The code on occupational safety, health and working conditions (OSH&WC Code) and the industrial relations code will give autonomy to states to amend labour laws to suit their industrial needs and attract investments through labour reforms without seeking the Centre’s permission.

India

Harsh Vardhan’s comments unfortunate, aim should be to fight the pandemic unitedly: Rahul Gandhi

“It’s an unfortunate comment. The whole nation has to fight this disease together. I don’t think it’s appropriate to blame someone or the other.

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Rahul Gandhi Farmers

Wayanad (Ker): Describing as “unfortunate” the comments by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on rising COVID-19 cases in Kerala, Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said it was not appropriate to blame others and point fingers, but fightthe pandemic unitedly.

With Kerala witnessing a spurt in infections recently, Vardhan had recently said the state was “paying the price for gross negligence” during Onam festivities when unlocking of services along with an increase in travel for trade and tourism led to the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s an unfortunate comment. The whole nation has to fight this disease together. I don’t think it’s appropriate to blame someone or the other.

The spirit should be to overcome this huge challenge.

I had warned in February that India was facing a huge challenge.However, this is not the time to point fingers and we all should work together,” Gandhi said.

He said Kerala follows a decentralised response to the pandemic and the state was giving out a good, decent result.

“The spirit of the people of Kerala, including the health workers, is giving a good decent result here.Of course there are shortcomings like there are in every situation.

But overall I feel the spirit of the people is going to overcome this disease here.The mitigation work in Wayanad is also good,” the Congress MP said.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has, however, said Vardhan’s comments should not be seen as a criticism of the state government’s COVID-19 management.

The chief minister had said on Monday that the COVID-19 situation in the state was under control during and after the Onam festival season as a strict vigil was enforced.

“Our COVID preventive measures were a success but the massive protests across the state by an irresponsible opposition derailed the efforts of the government,” Vijayan said.

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Business

India’s April-August FDI inflow rises 13%

“FDI equity inflow also increased by 57 per cent from $160.46 billion during 2008-14 to $252.42 billion (2014-20).”

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FDI

New Delhi, Oct 21 : FDI inflows into India have increased by 13 per cent during April to August 2020 on a year-on-year basis, official data showed on Tuesday.

According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, $35.73 billion has been received during the period under review.

“It is the highest ever for first 5 months of a financial year and 13 per cent higher as compared to first five months of 2019-20 ($31.60 billion),” the ministry said in a statement.

“FDI equity inflow received during F.Y. 2020-21 (April to August, 2020) is $27.10 billion. It is also the highest ever for first 5 months of a financial year and 16 per cent more compared to first five months of 2019-20 ($23.35 billion).”

Besides, the ministry’s data showed that FDI inflows have risen by 55 per cent during the last 6 years.

“Total FDI inflow grew by 55 per cent, i.e. from $231.37 billion in 2008-14 to $358.29 billion in 2014-20,” the statement said.

“FDI equity inflow also increased by 57 per cent from $160.46 billion during 2008-14 to $252.42 billion (2014-20).”

The ministry said that measures taken regarding FDI policy reforms, investment facilitation and ease of doing business have resulted in increased inflows into the country.

“Continuing on the path of FDI liberalisation and simplification, Government has carried out FDI reforms across various sectors,” the statement said.

FDI is a major driver of economic growth and an important source of non-debt finance for the economic development of India, it added.

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India

NHPC Board approves merger of Lanco Teesta Hydro Power with it

Shares of NHPC on Tuesday closed at Rs 20.25 on the BSE, higher by 1.25 per cent from its previous close.

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Reliance Power

New Delhi : The Board of Directors of state-run hydro power major NHPC on Tuesday approved the proposal to merge Lanco Teesta Hydro Power Ltd with it.

Lanco Teesta Hydro Power is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NHPC. The state-run major had won the bid to take over the 500 MW Teesta VI hydro power project under the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP).

Lanco Teesta Hydro Power was executing the 500 MW (125 MWx4) Teesta VI hydro project on the Teesta river in Sikkim.

“The Board of Directors of NHPC Limited in its meeting held today i.e. Tuesday, October 20, 2020, has approved the proposal to initiate the process of merger/amalgamation of Lanco Teesta Hydro Power Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of NHPC Limited) with NHPC Ltd under Section 232 of the Companies Act, 2013 subject to approval of Government of India,” NHPC said in a regulatory filing.

Shares of NHPC on Tuesday closed at Rs 20.25 on the BSE, higher by 1.25 per cent from its previous close.

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