Home > News > Four members of parliamentary panel on Labour register dissent on Code on Social Security | India News

Four members of parliamentary panel on Labour register dissent on Code on Social Security | India News


NEW DELHI: Four members of the parliamentary standing committee on labour, including one each from Congress, DMK, CPM and CPI have registered their dissent on the Code on Social Security Bill, 2019, which seeks to amalgamate nine labour laws into one of the four labour codes.
In its report on the Code on Social Security, the Bhartruhari Mahtab-led committee has proposed to widen the definition of migrant workers, recommended the setting up of a contributory social security fund for workers and pushed the government to roll out an unemployment insurance scheme.
CPM MP Elamaram Kareem has opposed the codification of labour laws in general and the Code on Social Security in particular on grounds that the Social Security Code throws into “total uncertainty” the legally prevalent social security rights and provisions for workers in industries like beedi and iron ore, mica, limestone and dolomite mines.
Congress’s Dean Kuriakose, on the other hand, held that while the government had proposed to subsume nine labour laws into the Social Security Code by “simplifying and rationalising” relevant provisions in the Acts, the code would achieve neither objectives. DMK’s M Shanmugam echoed the sentiment and also recommended, like Kuriakose, the addition of ‘labour welfare’ to the name of the Code on Social Security to widen its ambit.
The Congress and DMK MPs also took exception to the government not taking into consideration modifications suggested by the committee, including recommendations to widen definitions of terms like ‘worker’, which “give loopholes to the employer”.
Kareem, in his 10-page dissent note, said the Social Security Code had not stipulated anything for sector-specific social security schemes, nor set up a dedicated fund for them, leaving, in effect, a huge workforce outside the ambit of any social security arrangements. He also described as “dangerous” parts of the code that empower the central government to notify at its will any rate of contribution to any class of employee and to reduce the contributions to EPF.
“This should not be allowed at any cost. Any change in rate of contribution can only be made through amendment of the Code Act and not by executive order and I request the committee to make such recommendation,” Kareem said, adding that contribution to EPF should be reconstructed so as to put the responsibility of paying the contribution in such a rare eventuality like Covid-19 pandemic on the government as was done during the coronavirus pandemic.
CPI MP K Subbanarayan, on the other hand, called the Code on Social Security a “pack of promises” that lacks in a detailed plan to help 50 crore unorganised sector workers in the country. Stressing the need for a census of unorganised workers as was promised by the Government but never conducted, Subbanarayan said, “The Code of Social Security is without a roadmap for implementation and without a time frame and absolutely without a direction for creating funds and budgetary allocation. These open and blatant lacunae make the Code a sham and sheer pack of promises without intent to translate into reality.”

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