Applications were sent on 04.04.2017 and 05.04.2017 under Sec. 6 of the RTI Act, 2005 seeking certain information pertaining to the Labour Code.
The following was requested for, in the application dated 04.04.2017:
- “Kindly supply the relevant pages of the ‘filenoting’ / ‘office note’ / ‘report of the committee of experts’ / ‘report of the of officers’ in which such an explanation justifying their suggestion to drop the word ‘substantial’ in Sec. 94 in ‘Part L’ of the Code is found recorded.”
Again, the following was requested for, in the application dated 05.04.2017:
- “Kindly supply the copies of the format of the proposed License (containing the Terms and conditions imposed by the Government on the agencies) referred to in Sec. 88 and 89 of the said Draft Labour Code on Social Security & Welfare;
- Kindly supply the copies of the proposesd Regulations and the Schemes referred to in Sec. 24 of the said Draft Labour Code on Social Security & Welfare”.
It was clearly mentioned in the Appendix to the Application dated 05.04.2017 as under:
“When, the present piece of legislation, the proposed Labour Code, is intended to replace the existing social security machinery, people become apprehensive and want to know whether they stand to gain or lose by that new system.
2. The Executive, therefore, cannot bring in a truncated version of the proposed system in the form of Code and ask the MPs to vote. But, that, exactly, is what the bureaucracy has, exactly, done through this Draft Labour Code. Sec. 24.5 of the Code enumerates the nomenclature of the benefits that would be made available to the workforce. But, the quantum of benefits and the nature of machinery through which such benefits would be provided have not been made known. These issues have been kept reserved for the Executive to make Subordinate Legislations later.
3. But, in all probability, the draft subordinate legislations, (a) the Rules, (b) the Regulations including the termns of conditions of license and (c) the Schemes would, already, have been prepared and kept in the Ministry. The non-publication of those drafts along with the Draft Code, for public debate gives the bona fide impression that the forces which are behind this move, want to hide many vital aspects of the proposed social security system away from public knowledge until they get the Code passed by the Parliament and acquire power to do whatever they want through Subordinate Legislation. Or, i.e., if they have not yet prepared those draft Rules, draft Regulations, draft Schemes and draft licences, it would imply that these forces want to destabilise the present social security structure and bring in something which is not known even to themselves.”
Our apprehensions have become true.
The entire draft Labour Code is the handy work of some bureaucrats or middlemen who do not know the niceties and intricacies of not only the subject matter of the Code but also the technicalities of legislative drafting. What is more, they do not know what their ultimate aim is but have attempted to write something as Labour Code and create unnecessary social unrest in the nation.
The reply received from the Ministry in their letter No. M. 13014 / 01/ 2017 – LRC dated 25.04.2017 testifies to this fact.
This is not the stage appropriate and proper for a Ministry to call for the opinion of the public. Nor it is a correct stage to call for the meeting of the Secretaries of all the State Governments on 02.-5.2017.
The Government of India must, therefore, withdraw this premature draft Labour code immediately.