After BJP-ruled states Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh's scraped most labour laws in the respective states for a period of three years, Congress, on Monday, has urged the Centre to not allow states to amend these laws as they 'stripped workers of their basic rights', as per PTI. Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil said that the while the unprecedented pandemic, which has disproportionately devastated the lives of the poor, the Modi government has taken this opportunity to deprive them of their rights.
"If the prime minister has little concern for workers and labourers, then he should himself tell these states to not go ahead with amending labour laws and not allow them in doing so. We would expect the prime minister to intervene today itself," he told reporters through video at a press conference. "This is shameful and once again highlights the true nature and priorities of this 'Suit-Boot ki Sarkar'," he added.
Gohil said as these laws are in the Concurrent List, no such suspension can take place without the explicit approval of the Central government. "We also ask that trade unions be consulted before such an adverse step is taken," he said. This development comes 2 days after Gujarat followed Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in suspending over 35 labour laws, in a bid to attract investment in the state from companies reportedly looking to move out of China.
Uttar Pradesh, under CM Yogi Adityanath, was the first to pass an ordinance suspending all labour laws for three years except -Building and Other Construction Workers' Act, 1996, Workmen Compensation Act, 1923, Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, Part of Payment of Wages Act. Gujarat too has abolished all labour laws for three years except -Minimum Wages Act, Industrial Safety Rules, Employees' Compensation Act.
Meanwhile, Shivraj Chouhan's Madhya Pradesh government has abolished certain labour laws like -
Several Indian business experts have welcomed the loosening of regulations stating that this move will provide flexibility and urge other states to bring in labour reforms. On the other hand, worker unions have expressed their dissatisfaction, stating that their role will be diminished and want the Centre to intervene. These laws have been sent to the Centre for approval before it comes into force into the respective states.