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Unorganised workers' Bill introduced

Last updated on: September 10, 2007 14:18 IST

The government on Monday introduced a Bill in the Rajya Sabha for providing social security to unorganised sector workers, ignoring strong protests from supporting Left parties.

The Left, which has been championing the cause of the unorganised labour, demanded separate legislations for agricultural and non-agricultural workers.

Amid unruly scenes during Zero Hour over the nuclear issue, Labour Minister Oscar Fernandes moved the Unorganised Sector Workers Social Security Bill, 2007 for introduction though it was not included in today's list of business.

The Bill was brought in towards the fag end of the Monsoon session even though the CPI(M) and the CPI had conveyed to the Congress-led UPA that it had strong reservations on the draft legislation.

"This is the worst kind of tokenism. They (Government) want to introduce the Bill just because it was promised in the National Common Minimum Programme," CPI(M) Politburo member Brinda Karat told reporters in Parliament House.

Arjun Sengupta, who chaired the National Commission for Enterprises in the unorganised sector, had himself recommended two separate and comprehensive legislations for farm and non-farm workers, she said.

The Bill provides that the Centre will constitute a National Social Security Advisory Board to recommend suitable schemes for different sections of unorganised sector workers.

There are 40 crore workers in the unorganised sector, constituting more than 94 per cent of country's total workforce.

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