Thursday, Feb 28, 2002
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Sir, The Government move to amend the Industrial Disputes Act with regard to the "closure'' provision, whereby the permission of the Government is not required where the number of employees is 1000 and less, is a measure of sigh and relief for the promoters, but at the same time this provision can be misused. There are a number of industries across the country where the matter is pending before the BIFR for years. The promoters can take shelter under this provision and hoodwink the people. However, the new provision stipulates in clear-cut terms that the implementation of the clause is effective prospectively, and the companies already under the BIFR are excluded from utilising the provision. Many a time our enactments come out and the implementation commences and the affected person has to seek remedy through the judicial forum which takes years.
Even then the new provision is akin to a royal patronage extended by law. The promoters can settle the workmen and utilise the existing place for real estate development. The Government, should, therefore, weigh all options and adopt a balanced approach before tabling a bill in Parliament. The enhancement of the wages to 45 days for every year of completed service as against the present 15 days is by no means a consolation to the affected personnel. There are companies which deduct the employees contribution for the provident fund but don't remit them for years, thereby leading to mounting arrears and once again the affected person will not be in a position to withdraw his/her earned money. The Government, instead of giving blanket power to the promoters for closure, must ensure safeguards with respect to compliance with all the allied enactments.
S.S. Venkat Subramanian,
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