Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 31
The Union Labour and Employment Ministry has asked the UT Administrations of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to issue “labour cards” to workers to ensure that they could avail benefits of the government’s welfare schemes and policies.
The cards would establish the credentials and bona fides of labour with entitlements, especially under the new four Labour Codes.
The Codes were passed by Parliament by consolidation and rationalisation of 44 laws on the touchstone of reforms and modernisation of the labour market.
They are the Code on Wages; the Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions; Code on Social Security; and Code on Industrial Relations.
Sources in the Labour and Employment Ministry said the directive to the UTs has been made following a recent visit of Senior Labour Employment Advisor and Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) DPS Negi to Ladakh and Leh along with officials.
Labour and Employment Minister Bhupinder Singh Yadav had reviewed the implementation of labour laws and welfare measures in Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir following Negi’s visit.
“Directive has been issued to the two UTs and the ministry will follow up in the matter,” a Labour Ministry’s functionary disclosed on Saturday.
He said that generally the conditions of the workers in extreme ends of the country get oversighted. The government, however, is now focused on them especially in view of the national service they were rendering in a hostile environment in Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Negi had visited road construction sites in the border areas with China in Leh and Ladakh, including Nathu La Pass Karutungse, and Pangong Road where roads and infrastructure projects are being undertaken by various Central and provincial agencies, including Border Road Organisation (BRO) of the Indian Armed Forces.
Large number of workers from Bihar, Jharkhand and Nepal, and Ladakhis have been engaged by the agencies at the construction site.
The visit was to review the status of sensitisation and implementation of labour laws and labour codes in various developmental projects.
He met stakeholders, including project officials from Ladkak, Powergrid, NHPC, BRO, CPWD, BPCL, IOCL, HPCL, NHIDCL and AAI.
Sources said the ministry has been informed by the authorities concerned of a move to procure more all-weather shelter tents and clothing for the workers engaged in the geographically challenging and cold terrains.
The Chief Labour Commissioner’s office has launched a drive to sensitise workers to register themselves in the Labour and Employment Ministry’s upcoming National Database for Unorganised Workers (NDUW) Portal, especially for migrant workers.