PREVIOUS HOUR

TDB-PSV/1N/12.00

S.N. Q.NO.1

ִ ̴֕ : ָ, ӡ ֮־֤ ׻֟ ־ֲ פ ָ ֮֟ ֓ , ֓ ָ Ù ׻֋ ֟ , ָ ָ ߕ ֮ ָ ָ ֛ ֓, ָ ֟ , ֮ ֲָ ֓ ֵ , ָ ָ ֛ ָ, ӡ ֮֮ ָ ֓ , ׻֋ ӡ ׸ ֋ ?

ֳ֯ן : ֋

SHRI R. VELU: Sir, I very much share the concern of the hon. Member. This is a very strange thing which has happened. The Railways have been conducting examinations all these years through the Railway Recruitment Boards. Such a leakage was not reported earlier. I would like to say that about 1,12,985 candidates who had to write the examination on 26.2.2006 will definitely get affected. I quite agree with that. We have already lodged a complaint as to how this happened. The police are investigating into what exactly happened. Once we are able to know whoever is responsible for this, we will, definitely, plug the loopholes, and see that the system is made foolproof. A foolproof system is already available with us. The confidentiality is maintained from paper-setting, printing, transporting, distribution, conduct of examination till the end. In fact, what happened in this particular case is this. In fact, it was Hindi version of English paper. Normally, the question paper is set in English. It was the Hindi version of the paper through which it has leaked. Through the police inquiry, we are trying to find out the reason for this. Once the police report comes, we will, definitely, take action.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I think you are satisfied with the reply.

ִ ̴֕ : ָ, - ׯִ ֮ ָ, ־ '' ֟ , ִ֕ ָ߲ ׻֋ , ו֮ ו֮ ֮ ָ ֣ ݕִ ֋ ֮ ֤ ֻ ֓ ֵ ָ ֮ ֛ ױ ֮-֮ , , ֮ ֮ß ֛օ ָ߲ '' ֟ ׻֋ ָ ֋, ָ ֛ ֛օ ָ, ӡ ֮֮ ָָ ֤ ׻֋ ? ָ ֟ ִ ֮ ߕ ֮ ֟ ?

SHRI R. VELU: Sir, for this particular examination, there were 8,366 vacancies. For that, we had received 19 lakh-odd applications.

MR. CHAIRMAN: How many applications?

SHRI R. VELU: Sir, we had received 19,22,000 applications. Out of that, 15,10,000 applicants were found eligible. We had divided it into three phases. For the first phase, we have already conducted the examination on 12.2.2006, in which 97,588 candidates appeared; out of 5,12,000 applicants to whom we had sent call letters. For the second phase of examination on 26.2.2006, this episode happened in this phase, we had sent call letters to 4.85 lakh candidates; out of which, 1,12,985 candidates appeared. I really share the concern of the hon. Member that those candidates were poor people who had come all the way to prepare and write the examination. But, this was an exceptional situation in which we cannot help. (Contd. by 1o)

kgg-klg/1o/12.05

SHRI R. VELU (contd.): In fact, this is just like a man-made disaster. The moment we find exactly what happened and where this has gone wrong, Sir, we would set it right.

(Ends)

PAPERS LAID ON THE TABLE

 

SHRI SHARAD PAWAR : Sir, I lay on the Table  a copy each (in English and Hindi) of  the following papers

(i)      Outcome Budget for the year 2006-07 of the Department of Food and Public Distribution in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution; and

 (ii)   Performance Budget for the year 2005-06 of the Department of Food and Public Distribution in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

SHRI R. VELU : Sir, I lay on the Table, under sub-section (3) of section 30 of the Railway Claims Tribunal  Act, 1987, a copy (in English and Hindi) of the Ministry of Railways Notification G.S.R.  66 (E) dated the                   16th February, 2005, publishing the Railway Claims Tribunal (Procedure) Amendment Rules, 2006.

SHRI PAWAN KUMAR BANSAL: Sir, I lay on the Table  a copy each (in English and Hindi) of the following papers

(i)      Outcome Budget for the year 2006-07 of the Ministry of Finance; and

(ii)    Performance Budget for the year 2005-06 of the Ministry of Finance.

SHRI VAYALAR RAVI: Sir, I lay on the Table  a copy each (in English and Hindi) of the following papers

 (i)    Outcome Budget for the year 2006-07 of the Ministry of Overseas Indian  Affairs; and

(ii)   Performance Budget for the year 2005-06 of the Ministry of Overseas Indian  Affairs.

SHRI SURESH PACHOURI: Sir, on behalf of SHRI PRIYARANJAN DASMUNSI, I lay on the Table  a copy each (in English and Hindi) of  the following papers of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

(i)      Outcome Budget for the year 2006-07 of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting; and

(ii) Performance Budget g for the year 2006-07 of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

SHRI SURESH PACHOURI: Sir, on behalf of SHRI MANI SHANKAR AIYAR, I lay on the Table  a copy each (in English and Hindi) of the following papers

(i)     Outcome Budget for the year 2006-07 of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj; and

(ii)    Performance Budget for the year 2005-06 of the Ministry of Panchayati  Raj.

SHRIMATI MEIRA KUMAR: Sir, I lay on the Table  a copy each (in English and Hindi) of the following papers

 (i)    Outcome Budget for the year 2006-07 of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment; and

(ii)    Performance Budget for the year 2005-06 of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

SHRI K. CHANDRA SEKHAR RAO: Sir, I lay on the Table, under sub-section (3) of section 15 of the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, a copy (in English and Hindi) of the Ministry of Labour and Employment  Notification G.S.R. 25 (E) dated the 19th January, 2006, publishing the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central (Amendment) Rules, 2005.

DR. ANBUMANI RAMDOSS: Sir, I lay on the Table  a copy each (in English and Hindi) of the following papers

(i)     Outcome Budget for the year 2006-07 of the Ministry of Health and Family  Welfare; and

(ii)   Performance Budget for the year 2005-06 of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

SHRIMATI RENUKA CHOWDHURY: Sir, I lay on the Table  a copy each (in English and Hindi) of the following papers

(i)     Outcome Budget for the year 2006-07 of the Ministry of Women and Child Development; and

(ii)    Performance Budget for the year 2005-06 of the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

SHRI SUBODH KANT SAHAY: Sir, I lay on the Table a copy each (in English and Hindi) of the following papers:

(i)

(a)       Outcome Budget of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries for the year 2006-07; and

 

(b)      Performance Budget of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries for the year 2005-06.

(ii)

(a)  Annual Report and Accounts of the  Paddy Processing Research Centre, Thanjavur,  for the year 2004-2005, together with the Auditor's Report on the Accounts.   

 

(b)      Review by Government on the working of the above Centre.

 

(c)    Statement giving reasons for the delay in laying the papers mentioned at (a) above.

SHRI SURESH PACHOURI: Sir, on behalf of SHRI PRAFUL PATEL, I lay on the Table  a copy each (in English and Hindi) of the following papers

(i)         Outcome Budget for the year 2006-07 of the Ministry of Civil Aviation; and

(ii)        Performance Budget for the year 2005-06 of the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

DR. ANBUMANI RAMDOSS: Sir, on behalf of SHRIMATI PANABAKA LAKSHMI, I lay on the Table

I (1).  A copy each (in English and Hindi) of the following papers, under sub-section (1) of section 619A of the Companies Act, 1956:

 

(a)  Annual Report and Accounts of the  Hindustan Latex Limited, Thiruvananthapuram, for the year 2004-2005, together with   the Auditor's Report on the Accounts and the comments of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India thereon.   

 

(b)    Review by Government on the working of the above Company.

(2).Statement (in English and Hindi) giving reasons for the delay in laying the papers mentioned at (1) above.      

II.  A copy each (in English and Hindi) of the following papers:

(i)

(a)

Annual Report and Accounts of the Central Council for Research in  Unani Medicine, New Delhi, for the year 2004-2005, together with the Auditor's Report on the Accounts.   

 

(b)

Review by Government on the working of the above Council.

 

(c)

Statement giving reasons for the delay in laying the papers     mentioned at (a) above.

(ii)

(a) 

Annual Report and Accounts of the Pasteur Institute of India, Coonoor,  for the year 2004-2005, together with the Auditor's Report on the Accounts.   

 

(b)

Review by Government on the working of the above Institute.

 

(c)

Statement giving reasons for the delay in laying the papers     mentioned at (a) above.

(iii)

(a)

Annual Report and Accounts of the Cancer Institute (WIA), Chennai, for the year 2004-2005, together with the Auditor's Report on the Accounts.   

 

(b)

Review by Government on the working of the above Institute.

 

(c)

Statement giving reasons for the delay in laying the papers     mentioned at (a) above.

SHRI SHARAD PAWAR: Sir, I lay on the Table

I. A copy each (in English and Hindi) of the following papers, under sub-section (3) of section 14 and sub-section (4) of section 17 of the National Cooperative Development Corporation Act, 1962:

 

(a)       Annual Report of the National Cooperative Development Corporation,  New Delhi,  for the year 2004-2005.

 

(b)      Annual Accounts of the National Cooperative Development  Corporation,  New Delhi,  for the year 2004-2005, and the Audit Report thereon.

 

(c)       Annual Accounts of the National Cooperative Development  Corporation Employees Provident Fund,  for the year 2004-2005, and the Audit Report thereon.

 

(d)      Review by Government on the working of the above Corporation.

II.   Statement (in English and Hindi) giving reasons for the delay in laying the papers mentioned at (I) above.

SHRI SURESH PACHOURI: Sir, on behalf of SHRI M.V. RAJASEKHARAN, I lay on the Table  a copy (in English and Hindi) of the Outcome Budget for the year 2006-07 of the Ministry of  Planning. 

 

־ ׾֟ : ֳ֯ן , ֯ ן 2004-2005 ׻֋ ָ ׾ ֣ ӑ ׾׳֮ ߵ ϵ֮ ׻֋ ִ ϵ ֮֜ ӲӬ ֵ ֵԮֵ֮ ӲӬ ־ 滵 ן־ ן ( ֣ ) ֳ ֙ ָ ֟

SHRI NAMO NARAIN MEENA: Sir, I lay on the Table, under section 26 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1994, a copy (in English and Hindi) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Notification G.S.R. 46 (E) dated the 3rd February, 2006, publishing the Environment (Protection) First Amendment Rules, 2006.

SHRI SURESH PACHOURI: Sir, on behalf of DR. AKHILESH PRASAD SINGH, I lay on the Table, under sub- section 6 of section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, a copy (in English and Hindi) of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (Department of Food and Public Distribution) Notification G.S.R. 80 (E) dated the 28th February, 2006, directing every producer of sugar to sell and dispatch the monthly quota of sugar.


 

SHRI PAWAN KUMAR BANSAL: Sir, I lay on the Table, under sub-section (2) of  section 53 of the Banking Regulation  Act, 1949, a copy (in English and Hindi) of the Ministry of Finance (Department of Economic Affairs) Draft Notification F. No 15/5/2004-BOA dated Nil March, 2006, regarding grant of exemption to the Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) from application of section 19 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, for acquiring 100% shares of Bharat Overseas Bank Ltd.

SHRI CHANDRASEKHAR SAHU: Sir, I lay on the Table  a copy each (in English and Hindi) of the following papers:

(i)        The Outcome Budget for the year 2006-07 of the Ministry of  Labour and Employment; and

(ii)       The Performance Budget for the year 2-005-06 of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

SHRI SURESH PACHOURI: Sir, on behalf of DR. SHAKEEL AHMAD, I lay on the Table, under clause (1) of article 151 of the Constitution, a copy (in English and Hindi) of the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India for the year ended 31st March, 2005 (No.13 of 2006) Union Government (Commercial) PSUs in Telecommunications Sector.

(Ends)

SHRI C. RAMACHANDRAIAH (ANDHRA PRADESH): Sir, I had sought permission to make a reference....

MR. CHAIRMAN: Yes, please go ahead. (Followed by 1p/kls)

KLS/1P-12.10

SHRI C. RAMACHANDRAIAH: Sir, I have sought your permission to make a submission. ...((Interruptions)...

MR. CHAIRMAN: Yes, you can.

SHRI C. RAMACHANDRAIAH: Sir, I refer to item No.19 in today's List of Business about which notification has been laid on the Table of the House. Sir, as per the draft notification listed, the IOB is to be exempted under Section 19 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to acquire the shares of private shareholders in the Bharat Overseas Bank. The process of acquisition of these shares has to be completed before 30th March, 2006 as per the understanding between the private bank shareholders of the Indian Overseas Bank ...((Interruptions)...

SHRI B.S. GNANADESIKAN: Sir, I have no objection to what he is saying, but is he speaking with the permission of the Chair. ...((Interruptions)...

MR. CHAIRMAN: I have given him the permission. ...((Interruptions)...

SHRI B.S. GNANADESIKAN: This is unprecedented. ...((Interruptions)...

MR. CHAIRMAN: This is not unprecedented. ...((Interruptions)...

SHRI C. RAMACHANDRAIAH: Let me complete; then, he can understand the importance of the subject. ...((Interruptions)... Sir, the deal of transfer of shares has to be done before 30th March, 2006. As per the normal procedure, the Indian Overseas Bank has to wait for the expiry of 30 days; the statutory notice period has to be taken into account to enable the merger between the Indian Overseas Bank which is a public sector bank and the Bharat Overseas Bank, the process for acquisition of shares from the other private sector banks shareholders has to be completed before 30th March, 2006. In the public interest I propose that this can be dispensed with and that is why I want to move a motion.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Please take your seat. ...((Interruptions)... ,

THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE (SHRI PAWAN KUMAR BANSAL): Sir, we have no objection to this. You may kindly fix up any time, which you consider appropriate.

REPORTS OF THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE

 

SHRI R.K. DHAWAN (BIHAR): Sir, I lay on the Table a copy each (in English and Hindi) of the following Reports of the Public Accounts Committee (2005-2006):  

(i)    Twenty-sixth Report (Fourteenth Lok Sabha) on Action Taken by   the Government on the Observations and Recommendations contained in the Sixty-second Report of the Committee (Thirteenth Lok Sabha) on Ganga Action Plan; and

(ii)   Twenty-seventh Report of the Committee (Fourteenth Lok Sabha) on Non-disposal of uncleared/unclaimed imported cargo in ICDs/CFSs.

(ends)

MOTION FOR ELECTION TO THE POST-GRADUATE INSTITUTE OF    MEDICAL EDUCATION AND RESEARCH, CHANDIGARH

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE (DR. ANBUMANI RAMDOSS): Sir, I move the following Motion:

That in pursuance of clause (g) of section 5 read with sub-section (4) of Section 6 of the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh Act, 1966 (No. 51 of 1966), this House do proceed to elect, in such manner as the Chairman may direct, one Member from among the Members of the House to be a Member of the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, in the vacancy caused due to the induction of Shrimati Ambika Soni into the Union Council of Ministers w.e.f. the 29th January, 2006.

 

The question was put and the motion was adopted. (ends)

STATEMENTS RE: IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS CONTAINED IN TWELFTH REPORT OF THE DEPARTMENT-RELATED PARLIAMENTARY STANDING COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE

THE MINISTER OF STATE (INDEPENDENT CHARGE) IN THE MINISTRY OF FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRIES (SHRI SUBODH KANT SAHAY): Sir, I lay a copy of the statement regarding the Status of implementation of recommendations contained in the Twelfth Report of the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture.

(Ends)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Hon. Members, I have to inform that Special Mentions will be taken up in the House today after the Listed Business before the House for the day is completed.

MATTER RAISED WITH PERMISSION OF CHAIR

RE: PANIC OVER BIRD FLU

SHRI NILOTPAL BASU (WEST BENGAL): Sir, at the very outset, I would like to thank you for allowing me to make this mention. I think for the last one month or so this country has been witnessing a major noise on this whole question of bird flu in this country. Sir, it is perhaps not a coincidence that we had been hearing about all these major outbreaks of epidemics and so on in the Asian countries which are supposedly the emerging economies of the world today. First, Sir, we had heard about the SARAS and then the bird flu in a very big way. Now, Sir, if one goes by the actual figures of incidence of this kind of diseases and the extent to which the lethal nature of these diseases are being highlighted in the media, one finds that there is a mismatch between the actual incidence of the diseases and the extent to which the campaign is there and the information is being pandered in the media. Sir, I do not know, I mean, there seems to be an inseparable connection between the interests of some of the drug multinationals who seem to be behind this huge hullabaloo over certain diseases particularly that too in Asian countries and the extent to which they can profit and make super profit out of pushing the drug sales. (Contd by 1Q)

-KLS-SSS/1Q/12.15

SHRI NILOTPAL BASU (CONTD.): Now, Sir, after we passed the third amendment here, we had a provision in the third amendment which was accepted by both Houses of the Parliament that for medical emergencies in countries like India and other developing countries we will have the provision of compulsory licensing for pandemics and epidemics breaking out and in the event of such public health emergencies we can actually give compulsory licence to drug companies so that cheap drugs could go for treating the people who will be afflicted by that epidemic. Now, Sir, there was an ongoing battle between one of the Indian drug companies, Cipla and the multi-national drug company, Roche over the patent of Tami flu which is supposed to be the only drug to be treating these bird flu cases. Sir, I have with me a campaign material from one Hetero drugs which has acquired the sub-licence from Roche, the German drug multinational company. They have in the material now come out with some Press reports. They have quoted in their own campaign material, The Times of India report dated 24th December 2005. They say that the company has already invested about 17 million dollars to produce the drug in India. Drug means, Tami flu. When launched, the drug could cost 12 US dollars per capsule. So, Hetero has invested 17 million dollars after getting the sub-licensing from Roche and Roche was fighting an international case against Cipla for Tami flu drug. The company says, "We have committed to delivering one million capsules of Oseltamivir to the Government, which is the brand name for this drug, by 15th January 2006. We will also start fulfilling orders from LDCs, Least Developed Countries and developing countries from January". Now, 12 dollars per capsule is the price of this drug which Roche will be selling through their sub-licence, the Hetero drugs. They have also said -- it is a report from the Financial Express -- that the Swiss drug maker increase output, Governments around the world stockpile the medicine as the best defence against bird flu pandemic. They are saying that about one million such capsules will be acquired by India, by the middle of January and they are going to supply. I do not know that sudden outbreak of the bird flu or the reported outbreak of bird flu in this country in the end of January and its continuing campaign is really to gloss over this aggressive marketing campaign of this multi-national to really taking the gullible in this country. There has to be a thorough investigation as to what is the linkage between Government of India acquiring this one million capsules of Tami flu at the price of 12 million dollars and the so called outbreak of bird flu because 95 samples of human incidence of bird flu were all found to be without any basis. So, Sir, I apprise the Government that this is the way the aggressive marketing campaign goes on and they have control over the global media and time and again this has happened. Therefore, Sir, it is a very urgent issue because 12 million dollars is not a small amount. I think, a thorough investigation has to be there to see what is the linkage between the report of these bird flu and possible incidence in human species and the purchase of this 12 million dollar worth of Tami flu by Roche who is in any case been contested by our own company, Cipla. (Contd. by NBR/1R)

-SSS/NBR-GS/1R/12.20.

SHRI NILOTPAL BASU (CONTD.): They are prepared to sell Tami Flu at 120th of the price in the Indian market in the event of actual epidemic breaking out. I think, on this whole question the Government has to come out with some kind of a thorough investigation. So, I would like the Government of India to, actually, respond to this question. This is a very serious question. Thank you. (Ends)

SHRI MANOJ BHATTACHARYA (WEST BENGAL): Sir, I associate myself with the issued raised by Shri Nilotpal Basu.

SHRI PYARELAL KHANDELWAL (MADHYA PRADESH): Sir, I also associate my self with the Zero Hour submission raised by my friend, Mr. Basu.

SHRIMATI N.P. DURGA (ANDHRA PRADESH): Sir, I also associate myself with the issue raised by Mr. Nilotpal Basu.

SHRI MATILAL SARKAR (WEST BENGAL): Sir, I associate myself with the issue raised by my friend, Mr. Nilotpal Basu.

DISCUSSION ON WORKING OF THE MINISTRY OF LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT

SHRI CHITTABRATA MUJUMDAR (WEST BENGAL): Mr. Chairman, Sir, just today the outcome Budget and the Performance Budget of the Ministry have been placed on the Table of the House. So, it is not possible to examine those Budget papers. However, what we have seen from our experience is that the functioning of the Ministry of Labour is not to protect the interests of labour.

(THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (PROF. P.J. KURIAN) IN THE CHAIR)

But, whatever little things are done, it is only to protect the interests of the employer himself. Sir, the NCMP says and I quote, "The UPA Government is firmly committed to ensure the welfare and well-being of all workers, particularly those in the unorganised sector who constitute 93 per cent of our workforce. Social security, health insurance and other schemes for such workers like weavers, handloom workers, fishermen and fisherwomen, toddy tappers, leather workers, plantation labour, beedi workers, etc., will be expanded."

Now, we find that in this year's Budget, the hon. Finance Minister has provided only Rs. 1176.55 crores for labour welfare and Rs. 548.88 crores for social security and welfare. Out of Rs. 1176.55 for labour welfare, Rs. 840 crores is the contribution for the Employees Pension Scheme for those who are covered under the EPF Act. The rest is accounted for industrial relations, working conditions, safety, labour welfare, labour education, etc. Nothing is there for unorganised sector workers. Sir, Rs. 548.88 crores, meant for social security and welfare, includes Rs. 435.05 crores for pension and other benefits for freedom fighters. There is an allocation of Rs. 40.73 crores for children and women and Rs. 26.60 crores for the handicrafts. So, actually, for the unorganised sector workers, nothing is there in the Budget, though it has been promised that the Government will look and take steps for the betterment of the unorganised sector workers.

Now, Sir, the NCMP further states on labour and I quote, "The UPA rejects the idea of automatic hire-and-fire. It recognizes that some changes in labour laws may be required but such changes must fully protect the interests of workers and families and must take place after full consultation with trade unions." (CONTD. BY VP "1S")

VP/12.25/1S

SHRI CHITTABRATA MAJUMDAR (CONTD.): Actually, what is its function? I do not understand whether the Government recognises the existence of trade unions or not.

Yesterday, an incident happened in Ludhiana. The workers of Oswal woollen factory were agitating because some of their demands were not being met by the employers. The police lathicharged and arrested a large number of workers, and even from the trade union office itself they arrested the workers. And 107 charges have been made against those workers.

The case of Honda factory, which happened some time before, is well known to everybody. We find that with the indulgence of the State Governments, the authorities in the unorganised and the organised sector, even where multinationals are there, are not allowing the workers to form unions. Their unions are not getting registered by the Department. Even when the union is registered, the management does not sit with the unions to settle the disputes. When the disputes are raised with the Labour Commissioner, in many cases, the Labour Commissioner also does not take any initiative to convene a meeting and settle the dispute. But in many cases, when the meeting is convened, the management does not cooperate. And, there are cases also, where with their intervention, some agreement was arrived at, even then, the management is not implementing those agreements. These types of incidents are happening everywhere around the country. Big multinationals are not allowing the workers to form their unions. And, what is the role of our Labour Department? We raised this issue, a number of times, with the Labour Department. But, the Labour Department did nothing, actually. Sometimes, their reply is that it is the responsibility of the State Department. We have the All India Act, the Trade Union Act, the Industrial Disputes Act, but these Acts are not being implemented. If the States do not implement those, is there anything that can be done by the Labour Department at the Centre?

We raised the issue that in Sikkim, the Trade Union Act is not being implemented, and the Industrial Disputes Act is not being implemented. Industries are there, workers are there, but they are not being allowed to form any trade union. So, disputes will be there, but where will those disputes be settled? We raised the issue with the Labour Department. But the matter has not been sorted out. The simple answer is that they have not introduced this Act in their States.

(Continued by PK/1T)

PK/12.30/1T

SHRI CHITTABRATA MAJUMDAR (CONTD.): So, what is the role of the Labour Department? It has been said that this Department will look after the interests of the workers and their families. What has the Economic Survey for 2005-06 commented? I quote: "Indian labour laws are highly protective of labour and labour markets. Labour markets are relatively inflexible. These laws apply only in the organised sector. These laws have restricted labour mobility." Isn't it just the reverse of what has been said in the Common Minimum Programme? So, on the one hand, in CMP, it has been announced that the interest and rights of labours and their families would be fully protected, on the other hand, in the Economic Survey it has been commented like that. About the laws, which are there only for seven per cent of the work force in our country -- that has been admitted by the Government itself -- this is the comment made in the Economic Survey. Now, what is the Government doing? The Government is trying to withdraw the facilities, rights, given under these Acts which the workers were and are enjoying. They are trying to withdraw those facilities, and to convert the workers in the organised sector into unorganised. As I pointed out, the Government is doing nothing to protect the rights and interests of the unorganised sector workers. So, for the unorganised sector workers, protective measures are not being taken and for the organised sector workers, the protective measures which are there, they are trying to dismantle those, to make them as an unorganised. So, this is the direction in which the Government is moving. As regards the industrial relations, what do we find? Actually, if anybody goes through the newspapers, TV reports, etc. he will understand that the workers today are the biggest evil force in our country, on the question of development. These are the campaigns going on against the workers in our country. When some strike etc. occurs, it is said that the loss suffered by the economy is due to the action of the workers. But what is the report about the action of the workers and the action of the employers on the question of production, productivity and economy? Now, I come to strikes. In 1999, mandays lost due to strike was 10.62 million days.

(sContd. by 1U/PB)

PB/1U/12.25

SHRI CHITTABRATA MAJUMDAR (CONTD.): In 2004, mandays lost is 4.83 million. But what about lockout? In 1999, mandays lost due to lockout is 16.16 million, where it was 10.62 million due to strike. And, the mandays lost due to lockout in 2004 is 19.04, where due to strike, it was 4.83 million. But, you will not find a single word about actions of the employers. What the Labour Department is doing to stop this type of practice? On the other hand, what we find is that the right to close down the factory, to retrench the worker without taking any permission from the Government is being allowed. So, this is also about the attitude of the Government, and particularly, the Labour Department towards the workers. Now, if the Government and the Labour Department enquire, it is not difficult to find out what type of activities are going on in various industries in our country.

Now, today, there is a tremendous development in technology, and, as a result of that, the productivity of industries has increased. But who are gaining the benefit of these technological developments? It should be shared by everybody; it should be shared by the employers as well as by the workers; and it should be shared by the consumers too. But what is happening is this. With the development of technology and its introduction in manufacturing process, the hour of work is being increased. ...(Time-bell)...

SHRI NILOTPAL BASU: Sir, I suppose, it has been the precedent of this House that in the discussion on the functioning of the Ministries, usually, the initiator is allowed a free-run.

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (PROF. P.J. KURIAN): No; I only gave a caution because the time allotted ... ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI NILOTPAL BASU: But, that is not the precedent of this House. That is what I want to submit most respectfully. ...(Interruptions)...

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: Let me make it clear. See, I gave a caution only, because the time allotted for your party is eleven minutes, and he has already taken fifteen minutes. ...(Interruptions)... Let me say. ...(Interruptions)... Please allow me to clarify since you have pointed it out. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI NILOTPAL BASU: Knowing the conventions of this House, I just most respectfully pointed it out.

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: No; no; I am not disagreeing with you. But I am making a point that the time allotted for your party is eleven minutes, and he has already taken sixteen minutes. ...(Interruptions)... It was only a caution. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI NILOTPAL BASU: Sir, time is irrelevant so far as the initiator of the discussion is concerned. ...(Interruptions)... That is the point I was making. ...(Interruptions)... That has been the convention followed in this House. ...(Interruptions)...

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: But, yet it is the duty of the Chair to give a caution because one cannot go on indefinitely. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI NILOTPAL BASU: Sir, it is unfair on my part to comment on what is the duty of the Chair, but I can only ...(Interruptions)... very respectfully point out the conventions of this House.

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (PROF. P.J. KURIAN): See, I did not ask him to stop; I did not ask him to conclude. I only thought that I should give a caution about the time. That is all.

SHRI CHITTABRATA MAJUMDAR: Thank you, Sir.

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: Please proceed. (Followed by 1w/SKC)

1W/12.40/SKC

SHRI CHITTABRATA MAJUMDAR: Sir, the fruits of this technological development are not being shared with the workers at all.

Now, according to the existing law in our country, eight hours per day are the working hours for factory workers. But if the Labour department conducts an inquiry, it will not be difficult to understand that in the factories, instead of eight hours, twelve hours is the norm. In most cases, the workers are forced to work twelve hours a day with the same remuneration as that for eight hours. Who will look into that? Is the law meant only for workers and not for the employers or others?

Sir, we are not only against the schedule of twelve working hours, but also against the employment of child labour. Is the Labour Department serious enough about examining this aspect as to whether instead of adult workers, child labourers are being used in factories with minimum wages? The Labour Department did not think that they should look into that also. On the other hand, Government is proposing withdrawal of inspection by inspectors on various issues. That is meant to allow the employers to act according to their will, that is, to use 'hire and fire' against the workers. They want to enjoy that right.

The Economic Survey states, and I quote, "Evidence suggests that States which have enacted more pro-worker regulations have lost out on industrial production in general. States where wages are higher than in the neighbouring ones because of strong bargains or social security provisions, such as high minimum wages, had high incidence of unemployment in general."

What lesson is the Government imparting to the State Governments -- that governments should not enact laws to protect the interests of the workers; that they would then lose investments and there would be no employment? What type of employment are you talking about? In our country, Contract Labour Regulation and Abolition Act is there. Till now, that Act is in place. But in that Act, in a perennial kind of work, employment of contract labour is illegal. But everywhere, even in the Government organisations also, in the perennial nature of job, contract labours are being appointed instead of permanent workers. Not only that, about contract labourers also, regulations are there. The principal employers have to abide by certain terms. But those are not being looked into and the contractors are not following those laws. So, through the employment of contract labour, everything is being done at a much cheaper price, and, as there is a high rate of unemployment in our country, they are not finding any problem in having workers at very nominal wages.

How would the market in our country develop if the purchasing power of the society is reduced in this manner? Now, we are talking about industrial development. (Contd. by 1X/HK)

HK/1x/12.45

SHRI CHITTABRATA MAJUMDAR (CONTD.): What does the Economic Survey say about annual growth rate on pages 132-133? It says, "In mining and quarrying, the production has gone down from 1995-96 to 2005-06. In manufacturing, production has gone down. In electricity, production has gone down." Without electricity, can the manufacturing be done? So, this is happening. Ultimately, the purchasing power of the entire society is being reduced which will create further crisis in the system that is going on.

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (PROF. P.J. KURIAN): Mr. Majumdar, how much time will you take?

SHRI CHITTABRATA MAJUMDAR: I am going to conclude. I would only like to point out one or two points further. All types of attacks are going on against the organised sector workers too. Now, I come to the interest rate of provident fund. Earlier it was 12 per cent that came down to 9.5 per cent. This year it has come down to 8.5 per cent. It is being proposed that -- the Labour Minister is the Chairman of the Provident Fund Trustee Board -- in the coming year it will be 8 per cent only. So by reducing the earnings of the retired workers, how is the Government protecting the interest of the labour and their families? Now I come to pension scheme that has not yet been withdrawn and I do not want to explain in detail. But what is in the pension scheme? The employees may lose all their earnings because the proposal is for investment in the share market. Now a new attack has also been started. The Labour Minister himself is involved in that. A new series of Consumer Price Index has been announced. Two or three meetings were held with the representatives of trade unions. Trade unions did not accept that. Instead of 1982 as base year, the base year is being shifted to 2002. All the trade unions unitedly proposed that a Technical Committee has to be formed to examine the various aspects and for taking a final decision and in that Committee trade union representatives should also be there. But it has not been done. Instead the new series has already been announced as a decision. So, what is the use of mutual discussion with trade unions? What about the protection of rights of workers and their benefits? All these things are going on. (Contd. by 1y)

KSK/12.50/1y

SHRI CHITTABRATA MAJUMDAR (CONTD): Sir, you are referring to the time. So, I do not want to go further. There are various issues which can be discussed here. Simply, I would like to ask whether we should take it for granted by the Labour Minister that this Government will not formalise anything about the workforce in the informal sector; rather, this Government will informalise the workers who are working in the formal sector. We want this reply from the hon. Minister. (Ends)

SHRI E.M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN (TAMIL NADU): Sir, I appreciate the efforts made by the UPA Government as they promised in the National Common Minimum Programme. I quote, "(a) Enhancement of the welfare and well-being of farmers, farm labour and workers, particularly those in the unorganised sector and assure a secure future for their families in every respect; (b) ensuring the fullest implementation of the minimum wages laws for farm labour. Comprehensive protective legislation will be enacted for all the agricultural workers; (c) striving for the elimination of child labour; (d) re-examination of labour laws to reduce inspector-raj; (e) consultation, consensus and co-operation to strengthen the labour-management relations."

These aspects were very well looked after by the present Government and they are making lot of efforts in this respect. Sir, we have to appreciate the quantum of the problem, the magnitude of the problem, now facing the country. The National Sample Survey Organisation, in 1999-2000, showed the data that the organised and unorganised sector employment is 39.7 crores of the people. The organised sector alone is giving 2.8 crore. Unorganised sector consists of 36.9 crore which includes the agriculture sector (23.7 crore), construction sector (1.7 crore), manufacturing sector (4.1 crore), trade and transport (3.7 crore), and communication services (3.7 crore). This magnitude of the problem has to be solved by the Government of India. Sir, the Tenth Five Year Plan has stipulated that during 2002-2004, every year, more than Rs. 170 crores were spent for this purpose. The total allocation was Rs. 1500 crores for these aspects, out of which 94.17 per cent was utilised in 2002-03. Then, in 2003-04, it was 99.21 per cent; 2004-05 - 91.96 per cent. Now, it is increased to Rs.232.48 crores which are going to be spent for in 2005-06. For the present Budget, it has been further increased. Sir, the projects, which were enunciated for these purposes, are in many. Sir, there are the laws which are helpful for the labourers, especially for the unemployed youth and underemployed people. Sir, many of the rural development programmes are focussed upon it. The SGSY, PMGSY, SGRY - these are all programmes just for giving employment opportunities for the rural poor who are already having certain education or skill. But, at the same time, they need employment at their own doorstep. Moreover, implementation of the Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which gives guarantee of employment, has also been started by the Government from February 2, 2006 by giving the assurance that 100 days of employment is there for every citizen of India who is coming forward to register his name. (contd. by 1z)

GSP-KLG/1Z/12.55

SHRI E.M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN (Contd.): Sir, this is being implemented. The 15-days employment allowance is also given in case the employment is not given. Sir, there are Acts like, the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923, the Maternity Benefits Act, 1961, the Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952. There are so many enactments coming forward one after another. So many amendments are also made in these enactments and directions and notifications were also updated then and there. These are all focussed on the workers, labourers who need social security and safety, the health security and other aspects.

Sir, the Second National Commission on Labour, 1999-2002 has made a lot of recommendations. Especially, they have recommended that Anganwadi workers should be protected by legislation. Already, the Chairman of the Advisory Committee, Shrimati Sonia Gandhiji, has taken up this issue and the Committee is perusing it to give a very effective law in this aspect.

Sir, I request the hon. Minister to make an effort to bring forward this enactment as quickly as possible so that the people at the village level who are not protected by the statutory support are given protection. Sir, there are many State enactments which are made. According to the Constitution, 'Labour Welfare' is in the Concurrent List, and, therefore, the State Governments also come forward to protect the interests of the labour. But, at the same time, the Government of India alone can give the leadership for this purpose. Until and unless the Government of India takes up the issues with the State Governments, they may not be motivated for implementing the enactments and thus see that the people are protected properly.

There are many other institutions coming forward with many programmes. For example, the Life Insurance Corporation's Janshri Bima Yojana, a Group Insurance Scheme, is also for the protection of group of the people who are being employed at the grassroot level, in the villages and also in the urban areas so that they are protected. Apart from this, there are many other group insurance schemes being offered by other insurance companies. I can even quote again that there is a scheme for the protection of the ordinary man, the aam-aadmi, who is ready to pay Rs. 365/- per year as an insurance premium, and, he is going to be protected for Rs. 30,000/- by way of the best treatment in the city or anywhere else. By way of this protection, they can spend this much money on medicines, treatment, Doctors' fee, bed-charges etc., and, thereby, everything will be looked after. This is something forward-looking. Shrimati Sonia Gandhiji is very much interested; she has come forward and has made a suggestion to the Government in this regard. The Government also has come forward saying that now a person need not pay Rs. 365/- per year, the Government of India is ready to pay Rs. 200/-, and, accordingly, he or she has to pay only Rs. 165/-, and, the same protection will be there.

This is the kind of protection now being given by the UPA Government. So many enactments are coming forward; so many institutions are coming forward to protect the aam-aadmi. The employers are also motivated to protect the interests of the employees. Sir, I can very well say that with the latest amendment brought forward in the Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2005 on 16/08/2005 to protect the interests of the women who are working in night-shifts, their security is protected, their health aspect is protected, and, they are protected in all aspects. In the same way, I can say that the bonus ceiling that was earlier only Rs. 3,500/- is now going to be enhanced to Rs. 7,500/-. It is also one of the recommendations of the Second National Commission on Labour. There is a proposal, and, I hope that the Government is going to implement it very soon so that the people are benefited by that.

Sir, there should be a tripartite discussion including the employers, employees and also the Government, to see that all the benefits which accrue by way of the enactments and programmes of this UPA Government are given and the welfare schemes are implemented then and there. (Contd. by 2a-sk)

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