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Govt reduces number of registers under labour laws to 5; move to benefit 5.85 crore biz establishments

Enhancing ease of doing business, the government has reduced the number of registers to be maintained under labour laws to five from 56 earlier for about 5.85 crore establishments.

"The government has simplified the maintenance of Labour registers of about 5.85 crore establishments in agriculture and non-agriculture sectors," a Labour Ministry statement said.

The decision, which has come after demonetisation, is being viewed as a major step to woo traders and other establishments. The exercise will help these establishments save time and cost and help in better compliance of labour laws.

According to sources, the government has decided to simplify rules for maintenance of registers to ensure compliance with crucial labour laws after it failed to bring about any significant improvement in India's ranking in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business report.

These registers are related to details of employees, their salaries, loans/recoveries, attendance etc.

This exercise will drastically reduce the number of registers being maintained by these establishments from 56 to only five by doing away with overlapping/redundant fields.

This will help these establishments to save cost and efforts and ensure better compliance of Labour Laws, it said.

"The establishments were to run from one department to another for the maintenance of registers, which resulted in delay and unnecessary harassment to firm owners. The decision would help in easing business formalities and streamlining the process, which will ultimately help workers," said Brajesh Upadhyaya, the general secretary of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh.

Under various Central Labour Acts, there is a requirement of maintenance of registers depending upon the threshold of the number of employees by the establishments in agriculture and non-agriculture sectors, it said.

As per the Sixth Economic Census of Central Statistical Office conducted during 2013-2014, India has about 5.85 crore establishments in agricultural and non-agricultural sectors combined. About 4.54 crore establishments are in non-agricultural sector.

It said that while reviewing the requirement of filing various returns/registers/forms provided under 9 Central Acts, it was found that there were several overlapping/redundant fields that could be rationalised.

An intention notification was issued on November 4, 2016 for reducing the number of registers/data fields and the same was widely circulated to concerned Ministries/Departments, States, other stakeholders besides placing the same in public domain.

In effect, all previous registers envisaged under various Acts/Rules have been omitted and replaced with only 5 common Registers. Such an exercise has reduced number of data fields in 5 registers to only 144 from the then existing 933 fields in 56 registers, it said.

Labour Ministry has also simultaneously undertaken to develop a software for these 5 common registers. After the development of software, those will be put on Shram Suvidha Portal for free download with an aim to facilitate maintenance of those registers in a digitised form.

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