All stories by Somesh Jha
Reskill or refund: Retrenched workers face Hobson's choiceRediff.com5 days ago
If retrenched workers are unable to reskill within a fixed period of time, they will have to return the money given to them by the government. Moreover, they may be asked to pay back an interest on the sum transferred.
New inflation index to impact DA, 30 mn govt staff to get more payRediff.com16 Oct 2020
However, the hike in salary for government officials may take some time as the Centre had earlier this year decided to put a freeze on any hike in the DA of its employees till July, 2021, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rules for hiring contract workers easedRediff.com13 Oct 2020
However, the government has enacted an important change to the fixed-term employment framework that may help companies in handing out contractual jobs to its existing permanent workforce.
Why India doesn't have any data on migrant workersRediff.com5 Oct 2020
Will the government wait for a new law or start counting the invisible workforce now? Somesh Jha reports.
Six months on, migrants caught between hope and despairRediff.com5 Oct 2020
Six months after the lockdown was imposed, two dozen migrant workers were interviewed across five villages of Prayagraj. As the economy opens up, most of them are either hunting for a job or desperately waiting for a phone call from their previous employers. But the bruises of the lockdown are still fresh in their minds. Somesh Jha reports.
Codes give more power to states to be flexible on labour lawsRediff.com3 Oct 2020
The move will help industries in pushing authorities for exemption under various labour laws at a micro-level, along with demanding changes to bring greater flexibility in their operations related to retrenchment, safety standards, and collective bargaining.
Govt issues Covid-19 safe workplace guidelinesRediff.com1 Oct 2020
While demanding more outdoor air ventilation, the strategy document calls for a structural modification in the workplace.
Retrenchment norms: Govt says it won't be 'hire and fire'Rediff.com29 Sep 2020
The government further defended its move to introduce fixed-term employment, insisting that the present system of hiring workers through contractors is exploitative.
NPAs under Mudra scheme rise to 5% for public sector banksRediff.com24 Sep 2020
Former RBI governors Urjit Patel and Raghuram Rajan have also expressed worry about the Mudra scheme, particularly government's target-setting practice and the rising bad loans.
Covid: Some good news for ESI subscribersRediff.com18 Sep 2020
ESI subscribers to get Covid unemployment allowance within 15 days of claim. Payment will be made into bank account of the insured and Aadhaar will be used for identification.
Migrants must not bear cost of Covid: Centre to statesRediff.com12 Sep 2020
Labour ministry guidelines say workers returning to cities must get housing, health insurance, facemasks. The Centre has also asked states to issue guidelines to employers to take care of the needs of migrant workers.
EPFO to pay 8.5% interest for FY20 in two instalmentsRediff.com10 Sep 2020
The remaining 0.35 per cent will be credited in December this year, if the EPFO is able to redeem its equity investments.
FM to hold review meeting with lenders on loan recast schemeRediff.com31 Aug 2020
The focus of the meeting will be on enabling businesses and households to avail of the revival framework on the basis of viability, necessary steps like finalising bank policies and identifying borrowers, and discussing issues that require addressing for smooth and speedy implementation.
Banks to resume wage revision talks with TU leaders on July 22Rediff.com21 Jul 2020
The current wage revision for PSBs, as well as some private lenders, is due from November 2017 for five years - up to October 2022.
PNB ready to disburse Rs 16,000 crore in loansRediff.com6 Jul 2020
'We have already sanctioned loans worth over Rs 3,000 crore to around 120,000 customers.'
Finally some good news for 32 mn construction workersRediff.com6 Jul 2020
Apart from Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, where none of the estimated 6.7 million construction workers got cash transfer benefits, the coverage of the construction workers was the lowest in Delhi, where only about 5 per cent of the estimated workers received cash under the PMGKY, followed by Kerala and Uttar Pradesh (22 per cent), among major states. In India, construction workers belong to the unorganised sector but account for the highest share of non-farm jobs after manufacturing.
How corrupt are India's contract labour laws?Rediff.com24 Jun 2020
Retrenched Raymond staff stare at long battleRediff.com19 Jun 2020
The company stated that it was taking steps for cost rationalisation across all businesses to maintain liquidity and due to a prolonged slowdown it had to take a few tough measures.
Fallout of PNB buying Audis for top bossesRediff.com18 Jun 2020
The Centre has advised banks to make a 20 per cent reduction in expenditure related to non-core business activities, along with deferring "avoidable expenditure" on "purchase of staff cars", "refurbishment of guest houses" and on the interior decoration of administrative and back offices.
No question of removing labour laws'Rediff.com11 Jun 2020
'A proposal to do away with labour laws is not feasible.' 'That's why we wanted to have a dialogue with the states.'
Govt unlikely to tweak GST rates on non-essential itemsRediff.com1 Jun 2020
Retaining the GST rate assumes importance since states are under pressure to increase their revenues, hit hard by lockdown. Also, the Centre has not fully compensated states for their revenue losses on account of GST for 2019-20.
ILO writes to Modi, voices concerns over labour law changesRediff.com26 May 2020
ILO acts upon a plea by 10 central trade unions objecting to the ordinances proposed to temporarily scrap labour laws in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, along with executive orders issued by at least 10 states to increase the daily working limit to 12 hours from eight hours, along with other labour law changes.
Why the recent rejig in labour laws by states won't help muchRediff.com25 May 2020
Labour law changes for three years may not be enough as it takes a couple of years for factories to build and operations at a proper scale start only in the third or fourth year.
Govt's piece-meal approach not enough to help migrantsRediff.com15 May 2020
There was no announcement from the government on guaranteeing a minimum basic income, which is the need of the hour. The announcements on portability of ration cards and affordable rental housing to workers are for the long and medium terms. Migrant workers need immediate relief.
Punjab 1st state to withdraw hike in minimum wagesRediff.com12 May 2020
The Karnataka government is also expected to follow suit and withdraw its decision to raise the variable DA.
Licence norms for contract workers relaxed in MPRediff.com11 May 2020
11 categories of industries will be exempt from the Madhya Pradesh Industrial Relations (MPIR) Act of 1961. This includes textile, leather, cement, iron and steel, electrical goods, sugar, electricity, public motor transport, engineering including manufacture of motor vehicles, among others.
'This will lead to a law of the jungle'Rediff.com11 May 2020
'Just as coronavirus has come to us from China, this disease is also coming from that country.' 'India is a strong democracy and you cannot compromise on labour laws in this manner.' 'These changes will be challenged in court.'
Assam changes labour laws, but differs from BJP modelRediff.com10 May 2020
Unlike the other Bharatiya Janata Party-led governments, Assam has not proposed doing away with most labour laws for a certain number of years. Instead it has proposed introducing fixed-term employment to help both workers and industries, and seeks to take more firms out of the ambit of laws governing factories and contract workers.
Employers may be allowed to pay PF in instalmentsRediff.com5 May 2020
Apart from this, employers may be allowed to deduct EPF contributions only on the basic pay of up to Rs 15,000, even if the employees' basic pay is above this ceiling. While on one hand this will allow companies to lower their wage bills, employees can also get a higher salary in hand.
Govt portal for stranded migrant workers soonRediff.com27 Apr 2020
The portal, which has been tentatively named by the labour and employment ministry as the National Portal for COVID-19 Affected Unorganised Migrant Workers, will gather the details of all the unorganised sector workers who are stranded in relief camps, residential or industrial clusters.
Don't pay workers wages during calamities, says House panelRediff.com25 Apr 2020
Parliamentary standing committee on labour, led by Biju Janata Dal MP Bhartruhari Mahtab, has said in its report that it is unjustifiable for owners to pay workers' wages during natural calamities.
Restarting work: Industry staring at higher operations costRediff.com16 Apr 2020
Ensuring health insurance for all workers would be major challenge for the industry that is already grappling with cash crunch, and the government should have borne the cost.
Work can wait, family can't, say stranded migrantsRediff.com16 Apr 2020
Daily wagers are running out of resources, including ration and cash, and the state governments might not be able to sustain their needs for a longer period of time, given the lockdown has already been extended until May 3.
'COVID-19 crisis led to Rs 4,000 crore fresh NPAs'Rediff.com13 Apr 2020
'So far, loans outstanding of around Rs 4 trillion, out of the total Rs 7.5 trillion, have been postponed.'
60 officers to address worker issues during shutdownRediff.com12 Apr 2020
The labour ministry has made public a list of 60 officers -- essentially labour commissioners in 20 regions across the country -- along with their e-mail address and contact numbers. They will deal with distress calls from workers who are working under the 'central sphere'.
Why India may defeat coronavirusRediff.com12 Apr 2020
'What is hindering us is the fear for the disease.' 'For those below the age of 55 years, it's a mild disease.' 'So take care of yourself, your family and your parents.'
Govt begins mapping migrant workers to work out relief packageRediff.com10 Apr 2020
The Union home ministry and the labour ministry have asked state governments to coordinate with the chief labour commissioner's (CLC's) office to give a comprehensive data of all the migrant workers by April 11.
Revealed: Politics behind the long walk homeRediff.com31 Mar 2020
The Centre and state governments bonded and then fell apart during the longest lockdown walk.
Why migrant labourers have little choice but to head homeRediff.com26 Mar 2020
Around 81 per cent of the workers constitute the unorganised sector - devoid of any social security cover and outside the purview of a complex set of labour laws.
Bonanza for around 30 mn industrial workersRediff.com11 Mar 2020
The Seventh Pay Commission had decided to choose the CPI-IW as the index for adjusting inflation for central government employees.