Karnataka Assembly passes labour amendments without Opposition resistance

Karnataka Assembly passes labour amendments without Opposition resistance

Credit: PTI Photo The Karnataka Legislative Assembly on Friday passed 16 Bills, including the Industrial Disputes and Certain Other Laws (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, which tweaks labour-related laws in an industry-friendly manner. The labour-related Bill was passed with little opposition from the Congress, except former minister Priyank Kharge who called it "anti-labour." According to Labour Minister Shivaram Hebbar, who piloted the Bill, the amendments would make only those establishments that employ 300 or more persons seek the government’s permission for closure, retrenchment or layoff. Similarly, worker thresholds will be increased from 10 to 20 in units which use power and from 20 to 40 in factories that do not use power. "Also, we’re increasing the overtime work of any quarter from 75 to 125 hours," Hebbar said. Kharge said the Bill would amount to exploitation of labourers in the name of ease of doing business. Hebbar defended the Bill citing the Covid-19 pandemic. "It’s inevitable for factories to run and those willing to work for longer in shifts, we’re allowing that," he said. The labour-related Bill will replace an ordinance the government had promulgated in July. The Assembly also passed a Bill that will allow the government to free up locked ‘B’ kharab (non-cultivable) lands at twice the guidance value. While ‘B’ kharab lands can be put to public, in several cases, they are stuck between private properties, making them landlocked. “There are small 1-10 guntas of lands that are locked in between properties. For example, Infosys approached us saying […]

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