All four labour codes are likely to be implemented in one go from April 1, the beginning of the next fiscal year, Labour Secretary Apurva Chandra said on October 14. Parliament in its just concluded session passed three labour code bills: the Industrial Relations (IR) Code, the Social Security Code, and the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code (OSH). The Wage Code Bill, 2019 was passed by Parliament last year.
Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar in September said that efforts would be made to complete the labour reforms by implementing the all four labour codes by December 2020. The labour ministry had circulated the draft rules on the Wage Code Bill last year but held back its finalisation and implementation. The ministry wanted to implement all the four codes and rules under those in one go as all of them are inter-linked.
Talking to reporters, Chandra said, "We have started work on firming up draft rules of the recently passed three labour codes in Parliament. We are trying to notify draft rules by middle of November to seek feedback. We will give 45 days' time for feedback." He further said that the four codes are likely to be implemented from April 1, with notification of firmed-up rules.
After the passage of a legislation in Parliament, it is sent for the President of India's assent. The three codes on IR, OSH and social security have already got assent of the President of India. A law comes into force after notification of rules.
Initially, draft rules under a law is notified with a stipulated time period (45 days) to receive feedback. Thereafter, these rules are finalised and implemented for bringing the law into force. Chandra said the labour ministry is expected to get the feedback on three codes on IR, OSH and social security by December-end and thus it would take some time to analyse that for firming up the rules.
Once the firmed-up rules of the four codes are notified, the four labour codes would become law of land to complete game-changing labour reforms in the country. The government aims to catapult India to among the top 10 countries in World Bank's ease of doing business rankings with the comprehensive labour reforms.
As per the 'Doing Business' 2020 report, India had jumped 14 places to the 63rd position in the ease of doing business rankings. India has improved its rank by 79 positions in five years (2014-19). The higher ranking would boost investment and job creation in the country.
Chandra also said that he has written to all chief secretaries of the states last week, asking them to frame rules under these codes. He informed that the central government would frame rules pertaining to those sections or clauses of the codes which fall under its domain and states would firm up rules on remaining.
Labour is a concurrent subject under the Constitution of India. Thus states can also frame and amend rules which fall in their domain. Chandra said that he has urged the states to take this work on priority so that all sections or clauses of the four codes are implemented simultaneously.