NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar on Sunday said that reforms don't mean complete abolition of labour laws. The government is committed towards safeguarding the interests of the workers in the country, news agency PTI reported citing Kumar as saying. The comment comes in wake of rising concerns after several state governments such as Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh brought about amendments to labour laws so as to help businesses negatively impacted due to the coronavirus crisis.
"I have just noticed that the Union Ministry of Labour is firming up its stance to tell the states that they cannot abolish labour laws because India is a signatory to the International Labour Organization (ILO)," Kumar told PTI in an interview.
"Therefore, it is clear that the Union government does not believe that the reform of labour laws implies complete lack of labour laws... The government is committed to protecting the interest of workers," he added.
Kumar also said that the coronavirus induced-lockdowns have impacted different sectors of the economy as well as the entire global economic and trade situation. The lockdown in India was imposed on March 25 and it has been extended thrice. The lockdown is to end on May 31.
Meanwhile, on May 20, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) affiliated to the RSS launched a nationwide agitation against the ordinances of Uttar Pradesh (UP), Madhya Pradesh (MP), Gujarat and also on other labour issues". On May 22, ten Central trade unions (CTUs) and federations and associations in various sectors conducted nationwide protests against the changes to the labour laws.
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