Assam Government Intends To Eliminate Jail Punishment In Labour Law Violation Cases 

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Posted in Assam, Featured, Northeast
NET Web Desk

The Assam government on Tuesday introduced 10 labour law amendment bills, pertaining to employees in the private sector for diluting the criminal penal provisions for improving “ease of doing business”.

In all the bills, the punitive measure of imprisonment has been removed but the amount of fine has been hiked by several times.

The Minister of Labour Welfare – Sanjay Kishan tabled the bills in Assam Assembly on the first day of Winter Session, and remarked that the proposed amendments have been presented to decriminalize the labour laws by bringing in civil penalties.

In a similarly worded Statement of Objects and Reasons in all the 10 bills, he said “The rationale behind decriminalization is that imprisonment is too severe a consequence for economic offences that do not involve mala fide.”

Legal process around an offence involving imprisonment “greatly increases the anxiety” among employers and reduced possibility of such processes leads to “improved ease of doing business”, he added.

“Criminal penalties, especially the risk of imprisonment, often unintentional offenses, is a major reason for low business investment,” Kishan said.

“This will relieve employers from fear of imprisonment while protecting the rights of the workers,” claimed the minister.

The tabled bills include – ‘The Minimum Wages (Assam Amendment) Bill, 2022’; ‘The Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess (Assam Amendment) Bill, 2022’; ‘The Plantations Labour (Assam Amendment) Bill, 2022’ and ‘The Industrial Disputes (Assam Amendment) Bill, 2022’.

Kishan also tabled ‘The Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) (Assam Amendment) Bill, 2022’, ‘The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) (Assam Amendment) Bill, 2022’ and ‘The Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) (Assam Amendment) Bill, 2022’.

In the meantime, ‘The Equal Remuneration (Assam Amendment) Bill, 2022’, ‘The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Service) (Assam Amendment) Bill, 2022’ and ‘The Payment of Gratuity (Assam Amendment) Bill, 2022’ were also introduced in the House.

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