The Regional Conference of Labour Ministers of Southern States was held on 11 January 2017 in Chennai. The conference was held under the chairmanship of Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya.
The conference was attended by labour ministers and principal secretaries of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Lakshadweep and Puducherry.
In the conference, Bandaru Dattatreya explained in detail the various initiatives and reforms taken up by the government including the technology based initiatives such as Shram Suvidha Portal, National Career Service (NCS) and Universal Account Number (UAN).
Some of the major initiatives of the Union Government to improve conditions of labour are -
• The minimum wages for all sectors in the central sphere has been increased by more than 42%
• ESI coverage on wage ceiling has been increased from Rs. 15000 to 21000
• Minimum pension under EPS has been revised to Rs. 1000
• Bonus ceiling has been enhanced from Rs. 3500 to 7000 and the eligibility limit has been raised from Rs. 10000 to 21000
• Employees' Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI) benefit increased from 3.6 lakh to 6.0 lakh
• Time limit reduced to 20 days from 30 days for EPF claim settlements
• Optional Deferment of age for drawing pension increased from 58 years to 60 years with 4% per year incentive
• Under the revised scheme for the rehabilitation of bonded labour, the quantum of financial assistance has been increased from the symbolic level of Rs. 20000 to Rs. 3 lakh.
• The Union Cabinet approved the Model shops and establishment (Regulation of Employment and conditions of Service) Bill, 2016.
• The Model bill gives freedom to establishments to operate 365 days in a year.
• The government is also planning to simplify 43 labour laws by dividing them into 4 major codes like code on wages, code on Industrial relations, code on Social Security and Welfare and Code on safety and working conditions.
When: 11 January 2017