The parliamentary standing committee on labour is finalising a report on social security of labourers suggesting bold measures to safeguard interests of migrant labourers and the unorganised sector workforce, its chairman Bhartruhari Mahtab said on Monday.
Mahtab has said the report is being finalised even though three BJP-ruled states- Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh - are yet to respond to its a notice given a month ago seeking explanation on dilution of labour laws.
In May, the parliamentary standing committee on labour issued notices over dilution of labour laws to nine states, including Odisha where Mahtab''s party BJD is in power, underlining that the industry "cannot be pampered" at the cost of labourers'' rights.
"The committee had written to several states seeking explanation for dilution in labour laws and how would they safeguard the interests of the labourers. Barring Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, all other states have responded to it. We are preparing a draft report on the social security code for labourers," Mahtab told PTI.
It will be a detailed and comprehensive report which will primarily focus on the plight of migrant labourers and the workforce in the unorganised sector, he said.
"Some bold measures will be suggested to the Centre to safeguard the interests of migrant workers and labourers in the unorganised sector," Mahtab said.
During the coronavirus-induced lockdown, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat modified labour laws to kick-start economic activities and attract investment. Similarly, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat have also amended their respective acts to increase the working hours from eight to 12 hours a day or 72 hours per week.
He said there are more than 40 labour laws enacted by the Centre and over 100 enactments amd notifications relating to the rules issued by various states, but despite this only six per cent labour force is in the organised sector.
Underlining the need for maintaining balance between helping industries and protecting rights of the workers, Mahtab had said industry cannot be pampered at the cost of the labourers' rights. There has to be a balance, he maintains.