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Now, Gujarat to Dilute Labour Laws; CM Rupani Looks at Land Pooling to Lure Foreign Firms

Representative image.

Representative image.

The move follows similar decisions taken by Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh governments to revive the economy that has been badly hit due to the ongoing coronavirus-induced lockdown.

New Delhi: Following Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh’s lead, Gujarat is also set to dilute its labour laws to revive economic activity and attract investment.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said in a statement his government is planning to exempt new projects from provisions of labour laws. However, the relaxation will be applicable if the unit is committed to work for at least 1,200 days.

He further said the rules under existing labour laws regarding minimum wages, safety and compensation in case of accidents will continue to be effective and there will be no relaxations in these three domains.

In a bid to lure companies relocating from China, Rupani also talked about plans of land pooling. He said the state will welcome companies that are currently operating in the United States, China and other countries and may want to shift in Gujarat.

He said his government is coordinating with Indian embassies in foreign countries, adding that the state provides plug and production facility for industrial projects available at various locations, including Sanand, Dahej, SEZs, GIDC estates and Dholera. As much as 33,000 hectares of land have been allocated for the purpose, the CM said.

On Thursday, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the requirement of filling 61 registers and 13 returns has been abolished, and only one register and the return will be sufficient to obtain licence. He also allowed overtime of up to 72 hours and increase in the period of working shifts in factories from eight hours to 12 hours.

Following suit, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath-led government relaxed labour laws (except three rules and one provision) for the next three years to provide a cushion to sagging businesses and factories in the state.

Now, the industrial units will also not have to worry about inspection or enforcement officials knocking on their doors as they would not be probing if labour laws are being implemented.

In Rajasthan, the Ashok Gehlot dispensation amended Industrial Disputes Act to increase the threshold for lay-offs and retrenchment to 300 from 100 earlier, besides raising working hours from eight to 12 hours per day.

Punjab and Himachal Pradesh have also amended their Factories Acts over the past one month to increase the work time to 12 hours every day and 72 hours every week, compared to 8 hours every day and 48 hours every week.

Meanwhile, the Centre is also seeking to lure more than 1,000 US businesses, including medical devices giant Abbott Laboratories, to relocate from China as President Donald Trump’s administration steps up efforts to blame Beijing for its role in the coronavirus pandemic.

The government in April reached out to more than 1,000 companies in the US and through overseas missions to offer incentives for manufacturers seeking to move out of China.

India is prioritising medical equipment suppliers, food processing units, textiles, leather and auto-part makers among more than 550 products covered in the discussions, officials said.