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‘JK showing way to others in labour reforms’

Jammu, Feb 16: Chairman Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, Dr BibekDebroy on Friday hailed the Jammu and Kashmir Government for taking the lead in pioneering wide-ranging Labor Law reforms in the State.
“While the whole country currently grapples with the issue of Labour Law reforms, J&K Government has taken the lead and is showing the way to other states by initiating all-inclusive labor reforms,” Dr Debroy told the reporters on the sidelines of a meeting with the officers of the State’s Labour Department here this morning.
Minister for Finance, Labour & Employment, Dr Haseeb A Drabu who was also present in the meeting, informed Dr Debroyabout various initiatives taken by the State Government to abridge the labour laws, set into motion labour reforms and welfare measures for the workers in the unorganized sector.
Dr Drabu said there are presently around 260 labour laws in the State which are being pruned to put in place a Uniform Code on wages, industrial relations, social security, and safety and work conditions. He said the plethora of labour laws only create difficulties in the implementation and compliance putting the labors to the disadvantage.
Dr Debroy, a noted economist and also a member of the NITI Aayog, said the State Government’s labour law reforms are critical to ushering in real ease of doing business in the state, besides, of course, addressing the aspirations of the labour class. He said most of the labour laws in India were borrowed from the West in the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution, and these have now become redundant in the new labor scenario.
Dr Debroy alsoappreciatedthe largescale welfare initiatives launched by J&K Government for the workers in the unorganized sector. “Launch of landmark social security scheme “Muhafiz” for the laborers in the State’s unorganized sector is a real progressive move,” he said and added that another innovative initiative launched by the State Government which revolves around 3-S is Shelter, Safety and Sanitation for the laborers.
He said, according to the State Government officials, while under “Muhafiz” scheme the laborers have been covered under a comprehensive and free insurance cover involving death, disability and other health issues, under 3-S initiative the laborers are to be provided Shelter, Sanitation accessories (especially ladies) and Safety kits at the workplace.
Earlier, Dr Debroy was briefed in detail about the initiatives being taken by the State government to reform the labourlaws in the State.
In a separate meeting, Dr Debroy interacted with Minister for Education, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, Minister for Finance, Dr Haseeb Drabu and the Administrative Secretaries of key departments and took a broad view on implementation of centrally sponsored schemes in the State besides taking account of issues hampering uniform realization of objectives for these schemes.
Wide-ranging discussions were held on various execution modules for these CSS including release of funds, resource availability and allocation, capacity and absorption issues, besides other challenges confronting state government in their successful implementation.
Chief Secretary BB Vyas, Principal Secretary Finance Navin K Choudhary, Principal Secretary Health and Medical Education Dr Pawan Kotwal, Commissioner Secretary Industries & Commerce, Shailendra Kumar, Commissioner Secretary Public Works, Sanjeev Sharma Commissioner Secretary Power Development Department Hirdesh Kumar, Commissioner Secretary Labour & Employment, Kifayat Hussain Rizvi, Labour Commissioner, J&K, Dr Abdul Rashid among other officers were present in the meeting.