No relaxation in labour laws, says minister

No relaxation in labour laws, says minister

New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday said there is no question of relaxing the labour laws and instead has asked states to implement them to protect workers, particularly in the wake of global economic slowdown.

“There is no question of liberalising the labour laws. Implementation of these laws is good both for employers and employees," labour minister Mallikarjun Kharge told the Rajya Sabha in reply to a calling attention notice by D. Raja (CPM) on situation arising out of retrenchment and job losses.

Kharge dismissed the suggestion of relaxing the labour laws by industrialist and independent member Rahul Bajaj, who found himself in a heated argument with Brinda Karat (CPM) as she pointed to “conflict of interest". Bajaj said his voice was being “muffled".

The labour minister said the impact of global slowdown on the Indian economy has been felt since the middle of 2008 and his ministry is closely monitoring the situation. “The state governments have also been advised to ensure industrial peace and implement labour laws so that the interest of the workmen is protected," he said.

However, he lamented that the labour laws do not have the kind of force enjoyed by other statutes like CrPC. “Whatever is implemented, we do it with folded hands" and nothing was implemented without a tripartite involvement of the government, employers and employees.