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PM Narendra Modi unveils key labour reforms to end 'inspector raj'
October 16, 2014, 12:31 pm

Looking to create an environment conducive to industrial development while also ensuring transparency in the labour sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched a host of schemes which envisage, among others, portable PF accounts and a unified portal for labour inspection at firms.

Unveiling key labour reforms to end 'inspector raj', Modi inaugurated the 'Pt Deendayal Upadhyay Shramev Jayate Karyakram' organised by the labour ministry here which will feature a day-long conference of labour, employment, health and vocational training ministers of the various state governments.

Labour ministry officials said that the initiatives which are to be launched are a Unified Labour Portal or 'Shram Suvidha', a transparent and accountable Labour Inspection Scheme, and portability through Universal Account Number (UAN) for Employees' Provident Fund members. Also, to be flagged off is an Apprentice Protsahan Yojana.

Speaking at the event, Prime Minister Modi said we needed to change our attitude towards labour as well as work very hard to change the perception we had of the poor.

"In our country, white-collar jobs are given a lot of importance.'Shramev Jayate' equally important as 'Satyameva Jayate'," he said.

The revamped Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) for workers in the unorganised sector will also be launched on the occasion.
The UAN will allow collation of accounts and viewing of updated PF accounts. The UAN would be portable throughout the working careers of members and can be used anywhere in India.

Thus, workers in the organised sector would not need to apply for a transfer of their PF account claim on changing jobs.

Bulk SMSs will be sent across India as part of the programme, the ministry said in a statement here.

"While about one crore EPFO subscribers will get SMSs regarding portability through UAN, about 6.50 lakh establishments and 1,800 inspecting officers will get SMSs about Unified Labour Portal which will (make for) a transparent and accountable Labour Inspection Scheme," the ministry said.

Under the new Labour Inspection scheme, labour inspectors will get auto-generated lists telling them where to go for inspection. Ministry officials said that the inspectors have to upload their reports on to the portal within 72 hours of carrying out an inspection.

"An SMS will also be sent to the 1,800 inspectors... urging them to cooperate for the new scheme," said a senior labour ministry official.

A unified Labour Identification Number (LIN) for simplifying business regulations and securing transparency and accountability in labour inspections by various agencies and bodies under the administrative control of labour ministry will also be launched.

The LIN web portal will operate through a unique LIN or Shram Pehchan Sankhya for each employer. The portal will provide for the e-filing of annual returns by employers.

Under the Apprentice Protsahan Yojana, 50 per cent support for training in MSMEs will be provided by the labour ministry.

Also, in a bid to promote Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), the ministry will felicitate some individuals who have passed out from these institutions and are holding top posts in various companies.

The ministry has identified these individuals to be brand ambassadors of the ITIs, the official said, adding that it would encourage more people to enrol at such institutes.

"Around 4 lakh SMSes will be sent to ITI trainees regarding the brand ambassadors of ITIs... An identical number of emails will also be sent simultaneously," it added.

Apart from Union labour minister Narendra Singh Tomar and minister of state for labour and employment Vishnu Deo Sai, health minister Harsh Vardhan, MSME minister Kalraj Mishra, commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman and skill development and entrepreneurship minister Sarbananda Sonowal are attending the programme which aims to take forward these initiatives in tandem with the NDA government's vision of 'Make in India'.

The programme is being telecast live on Doordarshan and arrangements have also been made for its live streaming on ministry websites.

Arrangements have been made for the viewing of the event across the country at all the ITIs and other government institutions, officials said, adding that an estimated TV audience of 10 crore people will watch the programme.

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