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Amid objections from the opposition parties in the Lok Sabha, the government on Thursday introduced two bills aimed at labour reforms — The Factories (Amendment) Bill 2014 and the Apprentices (Amendment) Bill 2014.
Both bills are aimed at amending the clauses of archaic Factories Act 1948 and the Apprenticeship Act 1961. The Factories (Amendment) Bill 2014 lifts restriction on women working night shifts, enhances the limit of overtime hours to 100 hours per quarter, increases the penalty for violation of any provision of factories act up to three times, and reduces the number of days that an employee needs to work before becoming eligible for benefits like leave with pay to 90 from 240.
The Apprentices (Amendment) Bill 2014 enables establishments to set up apprenticeship programmes faster. It also allows employers to train non-engineering graduates and diploma holders, undertake new, demand-based courses and does away with draconian provisions putting employers behind bars for training people.
Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge alleged that the bills were being introduced in haste and had to be examined. “It is a big, comprehensive amendment and requires time to be examined and studied,” he said. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s disallowed Kharge’s plea saying “you will get sufficient time for debate, you can also give your amendments”.
Repealing child labour act 1933
The government on Thursday also proposed repealing the children (pledging of labour) Act 1933. The act was originally enacted to prevent parents/guardians from taking money by pledging the labour of their children.
Since the government is already in the process of amending the child labour act it has thought it fit to do away with the children act 1933.