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Seminar on Liberalisation of labour laws: Pros and cons’

Ghanashyam Mhatre, GM-HR of the RPG Group while delivering an inaugural speech in which he talked about the latest trends in international human resource management (HRM). One day seminar on ‘Liberalisation of labour laws: Pros and cons’  organized by by Vidarbha Industries Association (VIA), National Institute of Personnel Management (NIPM) and Butibori Manufacturers Association(BMA) to educate the business fraternity of the city about the implementation and implications of reforms in labour laws at Hotel Centre Point, Ramdaspeth, Nagpur. He said  “Post World War II, Japan faced unrest among its labour class who went on strikes every now and then because there was a need for laws that benefitted everyone.”

He appreciated the philosophy the Japanese adopted to form their labour laws. In Japan ‘we’ comes before ‘I’. The people and the government worked together to pen an inclusive labour law. “Honda, Toyota and many of their subsidiaries invested $trillions in China in the last decade… Japan doesn’t like China much, while they respect Indian culture and look upon India as the place where Budhism originated, but they chose not to put their money in India! Why?” asked “We have the world’s largest young population of under-30 who are looking for employment, we provide 25% of the world’s work force already, yet compared to China and Korea we have negligible FDI coming in”. He said the choice was with us – if we wanted to follow Japan and China’s examples or remain backward. “What choices we make, make us” he insisted. He also mentioned that there are 4 other ‘Tigers’ in Asia competing with our ‘Make in India’ goal, who already seem ahead of us. They are – Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea.

Session Ii : Recent Labour Reforms – Pros & Cons (Mrs. & Mr. Sarkar). Chairman of the session Dr. N Y Phadnis, IMT & Convener Ms. Shobha Bhagia.

It had many eminent speakers like Nandini Sarkar and Sushobhan Sarkar, Directors of C-Quel Management services, Dr. R. Krishna Murthy, Director Industrial Relations Institute of India and Advocate Firdos Mirza addressing the gathering which saw participation of over 300 large and small industries and companies of Nagpur including WCL, Central India’s largest employer.

In her keynote address Nandini Sarkar, Director of C-Quel Management services stressed that it was a very positive development that today we had a Government that was ready to listen to people and was serious about amending and simplifying labour laws to bring about ease of doing business. She gave a presentation which brought to light modifications in various laws pertaining to human resource management and their impact on employees in every industry. Their company provides compliance service solutions to major companies and public sector undertakings. She continued with the presentation explaining in detail about the steps taken by the government and its benefit. “The Centre is pushing for digitization of labour laws and e-governance.” She informed that the government has introduced cloud storage application called ‘Digilocker’ where employees and organizations can store important documents. This, she pointed out that these measures are a part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Session Iii : Reforms In Social Security Schemes  (Mrs. & Mr. Sarkar). Chairman of the session Bhupendra Shahane & Convener Sardeshpande

According to Sarkar, new rules will also benefit female employees during pregnancy as maternity leave has been extended to 26 weeks with pay. She highlighted that 25% of major corporations are non-compliant to the Sexual Harassment Act, 2013 and said, “Unfortunately, female labour is not treated with the dignity it deserves.” Sarkar said that the union labour ministry will recommend to the government to make ESIC optional so that employees could opt for private insurance plans should they wish. She informed that the number of permissions required for companies to commence business in the state has come down to 37 from 76 and will further drop to 25. “Since January ‘2015 18 international companies have submitted FDI proposals amounting to 59,107 crore and will create 1,23,340 jobs in Maharashtra.”

Sushobhan Sarkar, Director of C-Quel Management services said stand firmly against non-compliance of labour laws. For that you should remain up-to-date with the latest amendments in the laws. Urging the participants to keep eyes and ears open to labour laws. “We should be aware of all the labour laws and pledge not to succumb to pressure.”


Session Iv : Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas – Modification Of Labour Laws – (Dr. R. Krishna Murthy). Chairman of the session Mr. Y. G. Hande & Convener Ms. Sonali Pathak &

Session VI : From regulations to facilitation (E-governance) (Dr. R. Krishna Murthy)  Chairman of the session Mr. Ashit Sinha, VIA & Convener Mr. Nishikant Bhore

Dr. Krishnamurthy, Director of Industrial Relations Institute of India, minced no words in stating that India lacked a conducive work culture. He said “We are very intelligent people who are great when we work alone, but when in a group we fail to deliver. That is because we speak different languages and use words which mean different things to different people” he rued. It is not just rationalizing our labour laws that will help us grow but understanding the Management- Labour relationship and working on it. If labour unions are bad it is because Management is bad. “Law does not define, it only enables” he pointed out. He said when running an industry there is only one logic to follow – there is only ONE way to manufacture, the BEST way. Beyond that there is no Chinese way, Japanese way or American way! All the speakers touched upon issues such as PF, ESIC (which will soon be made optional) and handling of Contract labour.

Session V :  Nuances of Mathadi Act – (Adv. Firdos Mirza)

Chairman of the session Adv S N Dandekar & Convener Manish Manapure

The concluding session was addressed by local High Court lawyer Advocate Firdos Mirza.
He have details of the 1969 ‘Mathadi Act’ unique to Maharashtra that was holding back business growth of the state. He said “The way Mathadi Act is interpreted and enforced by the Mathadi Board, which is itself not constituted legally puts great burden on the steel and power industries of the state”. By definition a ‘Mathadi’ worker was a manual, unskilled labour who earlier suffered much physical hardship because he had to carry heavy loads on his head or back. The then government enacted the Mathadi Act to ensure he was compensated adequately. Now with the deployment of cranes and other sophisticated equipments there is no work or requirement of a ‘Mathadi’ at all – but they continue being forced on Maharashtra industries who have no choice in the matter. “Would anyone willingly employ a man at Rs. 106/ minimum wage per minute – who did not comply to your orders, whose working hours you had no control over, whose numbers also you could not determine, and who you could not fire?” Though this act is in force all over the state of Maharashtra, where consecutive governments, even run by rival political parties were just continuing with it mindlessly, it is steel industries of Vidarbha that really bear the brunt, Advocate Mirza pointed out.

Mr Milind Sardar, Head, Corporate Division, Madhavbaug Multidisciplinary cardiac care clinics & hospitals made presentation, AKS University, Satna, Johnson Lifts Private Limited & United India Insurance Company Limited were supported the event.

Prominent industries owners and representatives were present i.e. Ajmera Tyers Pvt. Ltd., Bilt Graphic Paper Products Ltd., Biocare India Ltd., Calderys India Refractories Limited, Cdet Explosives Industries Pvt. Ltd., Chowdhury Packagers, Cytec India Specialty Chemicals & Materials Pvt. Ltd. EROS Group, Essab India Ltd, Gimatex Industries Pvt.Ltd.,Hinganghat, GMR  Warora Energy Ltd, Indoworth India Limited., Innovative HR Services, Johnsons Lift, Butibori, Manas Agro Industries & Infra. Ltd., Mangrul Mills Ltd., Mecgale Pneumatics Pvt Ltd., Medilife Impex Pvt Ltd., Metlok Pvt Ltd., Minar Hydrosystems Pvt Ltd., Minex Metallurgical Co. Ltd., MPM Industries Pvt Ltd., Nagpur, Pee Vee Textiles Ltd., Santosh Carewell Services Pvt. Ltd., Shilpa Steel & Power Ltd., B-209,  MIDC Butibori, Shree Baidyanath Ayurves Bhawan Pvt. Ltd., Nagpur, Sms Envocare Limited,Spannkraft Hydrosystems Pvt Ltd., Unijules Life Science Ltd., Unitech Power Transmission Ltd.,Wheels India Ltd., Zim Lab Ltd., MAHAGENCO, MOIL, WCL,etc.

At the outset, VIA President, Atul Pande, BMA President, Nitin Lonkar, NIPM Regional Vice President Anand Toal gave their welcome address and also welcomed the guest speakers. Aditya Saraf, Chairman – HRD Forum VIA made an introductory remark and conducted the proceedings and Pradeep Raut, summed up the event and also proposed a vote thanks.

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