Labour Administration in Bihar


Ajit Kumar AJIT KUMARWISDOM IAS, New Delhi.

                      
Labour administration is defined by ILO Convention No. 150 as "public administration activities in the field of national labour policy." It is an essential tool at the disposal of governments in fulfilling their responsibilities towards social issues. International labour standards are usually applied through national law and policy. It is therefore vital that each country/state maintain a viable and active labour administration system responsible for all aspects of national labour policy formulation and implementation.

History: The history of Labour Resources Department of Bihar can be traced back to the year 1937. For the purpose of conducting an enquiry into the condition of industrial labour prevailing in the industrial sector a committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Rajendra Prasad was constituted on 17th March, 1938, which was known as Bihar Labour Committee. The Committee submitted its report in April, 1940.

Bihar Labour Enquiry Committee in its report, recommended for establishing a Labour Department for the province. In the words of Bihar Labour Committee -
 
"We therefore, recommend that the Govt. of Bihar should take prompt steps to establish a Labour Department for this province with the Commissioner of Labour as its head. In addition of the collection, compilation and publication of essential information having bearing on the conditions of service and standard of living of the workers, which will form its most important duty, the Labour Department should perform other important duties as well, such as registration of trade unions, settlement of industrial disputes through the machinery that may be set up, recommendation, or consideration of Labour legislation, organization of a Labour Library for its use and that of Govt. to remain in touch with international Labour intelligence and opinion."

Department of Labour Resources: Department of Labour Resources of Bihar functions to facilitate the workers for minimum wages, equal wages for men and women, gratuity to employees in organised sector. Similarly there are certain welfare schemes for unorganised sector workers like Bihar Shatabdi Asangathit Kamgar/Shilpkar Samajik Suraksha Yojna Inter State Migrant Workers Accident Scheme, Bonded Labour Rehabilitation Scheme, Child Labour Rehabilitation Scheme etc.
 
Department also facilitates conciliation between the management and workers under Industrial Dispute Act. Department has various ITIs for skill development and also has a wing namely Bihar Skill Development Mission as nodal organisation for skill development in the state of Bihar. Department has various Employment Exchanges as guidance centres to the unemployed youth as well as organizing Job Fairs.
Main functions of Labour Department can briefly be stated as:
- Implementation of State Labour Laws and Employment Laws.
- Protecting interests of workers, both in organized and unorganized sectors.
- Interventions in matters of labour exploitation, like bonded labour and migrant and child labour.
- To provide medical benefits to all the workers and their dependents of the state.
- To provide job assistance to all job seekers and educated unemployed persons through job fairs and campus selection.
- To provide information relating to higher, technical & professional courses to all job seekers to improve their Employability and enrichment of their skill through the vocational Guidance Programme at all Employment Exchanges in the State.
- Creation of skilled labour force by imparting training through ITIs.
- To organize training programme for staffs and officers.
 
Labour Wing: The Labour Wing is headed by the Labour Commissioner. Its main functions are:
- Implementation of different labour laws.
- Fixing and revision of Minimum Wages under Minimum Wages Act, 1948 (Wages of Labour).
- Secretariat Canteen.
- Control of all officers and staff serving in the Labour Employment and Training Dept.
- Monitoring of National Child Labour Project (NCLP) in 24 districts of Bihar.
- Organizing 55 training camps for agricultural labourers.
- Monitoring of Integrated Housing Scheme for beedi-workers.
 
Commissioner of Labour          
Initially Commissioner of Labour was also vested with the powers of Secretary to Govt. Later on this system changed Commissioner of Labour is exclusively vested with powers of implementation of different labour laws and to maintain industrial relations in the State of Bihar.
At the Govt. level, a separate post of Secretary Labour has been created.
Under the Commissioner of Labour, there are one Joint Commissioner of Labour and one Deputy Commissioner of Labour in the headquarters, who assist the Labour Commissioner in discharge of the duties.
 
There are Deputy Commissioner of Labour who are posted in the division and at important industrial centers. Some Deputy Commissioner of Labour has been assigned with the specific task of enforcement of Minimum Wages Act in agriculture.
 
In addition to the post of Joint Labour Commissioner, there are 6 posts of Deputy Labour Commissioner, 13 post of Assistant Labour Commissioner, 68 posts of Labour Superintendents and 439 posts of Labour enforcement Officers, who assist in the enforcement of various Labour laws.
The Labour Enforcement Officer is posted almost in each block of the State for enforcing Minimum Wages Act in agriculture.
 
A separate Directorate of agriculture has been established to ensure proper enforcement of minimum wages Act, in agriculture.
Thus the fields functioning under the Commissioner of Labour are divided in two categories-
 (a) General and
(b) Agriculture Labour.
 
The Officers of the General Branch are responsible for maintenance of industrial peace as well enforcement of various labour legislation while the officers of agriculture labour branch look after the enforcement of minimum wages act in agriculture and in some rural employment.
 
All the officers in the field and the head quarters have been vested with necessary legal powers under different act, which they are required to enforce.

Role of District Administration
There are mainly two areas in which the District Administration is often called upon to intervene and support the officers of the Labour Dept., in the field.

One relates to maintenance of industrial peace. Breach of peace is often apprehended during disturbing industrial activities. In such a situation, there is a close interaction between the officers of general administration and those of Labour Dept. It may be relevant to mention that industrial relations are governed not only by the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, but also in the light of recommendations of different tripartite bodies constituted at the state level. These are also sometimes based on practice and conventions. The role of District administration in the event of industrial unrest is mainly two fold-to protect the legitimate interest of the workers and to restore normalcy and industrial peace as soon as possible so that production is not adversely affected.
 
The other area in which the district administration plays a very crucial role relates to implementation of Minimum Wages Act in agriculture. The implementation of the Minimum Wages Act in respect of agriculture employment is a crucial factor in the context of growing violence in certain pockets of the state.

The following Officer's of district administration are declared authority to hear and decide the claim under Minimum Wages Act, 1948 for Agricultural Labour-
(i) Circle Officer,
(ii) Deputy Collector Land Reforms,
(iii) Sub-divisional Magistrate and Additional Collector is declared Appellate Authority for all the above authorities.

 In case direction of the above authority is not complied by employer the directed amount is recovered by district Certificate Officers under Bihar and Orissa Public demand recovery Act, 1941.In case of violation of provisions of Minimum Wages prosecution is filed in court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate & trial is done by First Class Judicial Magistrate.
 
Factory Inspectorate
The Factory Inspectorate is headed by Chief Inspector of Factories who works under over-all control and supervision of Commissioner of Labour. There are 2 Deputy Chief Inspectors of Factories, 17 Inspector of Factories, 2 Medical Inspector of Factories and 2 Chemical Inspector of Factories. The Factory Inspectorate administers the Factories Act, 1948; Payment of Wages Act, 1936; Maternity Benefit Act, 1961; Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986; Minimum Wages Act, 1948 and the Bihar National Holidays and Festival Act, 1971 in the factories.
 
Inspectorate of Boilers
The Inspectorate of Boilers is particularly responsible for the enforcement of the provisions of the Indian Boilers Act,1923 and the Steam Vessels Act. This branch, which is purely technical in nature, has been placed under the Chief Inspector of Boilers with 2 Inspector of Boilers posted in the field. The work of inspection and enforcement under Office Rent Provisions of the Act is carried out under the supervision of the Chief Inspector of Boilers, who works under control and supervision of the Commissioner of Labour.
 
Tribunals & Labour Courts
For protecting and promoting the interest of labour and industrial peace in the state, the Govt. of Bihar has established Industrial Tribunal & Labour Courts. At present 2 Industrial Tribunals and 8 Labour Courts are functioning in different parts of the state. Industrial Tribunal are located at Patna and Muzaffarpur. The Labour Courts are located at Patna, Bhagalpur, Chapra, Dalmianagar, Begusarai, Motihari, Purnea and Muzaffarpur.
 
The Industrial Tribunals and Labour Courts constitute the top-most adjudication bodies of the state. Having state-wise jurisdiction, they are competent to adjudicate on all matters referred to them by the appropriate government under the Industrial Disputes Act. These Tribunals and Courts are also empowered to hear and decide cases and claims under different labour legislations arising within their jurisdictional limits.
 
Tripartite Bodies
The Govt. of Bihar has setup a number of tripartite bodies on the lines of the Indian Labour Conference and the Industrial Committee at the center to deal with labour problems in general and also specific matters connected with a particular plant or industry. The Bihar Central Advisory Board, the Standing Committee on Evaluation and Implementation, the Standing Committee on Sugar, the Standing Committee on Jute, Independent Board, Contract Labour Advisory Committee, Minimum wages Advisory Committee, etc. are some of the tripartite bodies functioning at the State level.
 
Wages of Labour 
In the State of Bihar, 75 employments have been added in the schedule of Minimum Wages Act, 1948. Out of which minimum rates of wages have been revised in 63 employments in Schedule I of the said Act and one employment (Agricultural Labour) in Schedule II of the said Act, The revised minimum wages in 62 employments in Schedule I is 68 rupees for unskilled labour, 66 rupees for Bidi making labour and 66 rupees for unskilled labour for agriculture labour in Schedule II of the Act.
 
National Child Labour Project    
In Bihar, 21 districts have been covered under National Child Labour Project (NCLP) and various district-level project societies have been  registered. Further, request has also been submitted to the Govt. of India for release of funds to carry out survey of Child Labour in these 21 districts. 40 schools in the district of Jamui, 25 in Nalanda and 40 in Saharsa have started functioning comprising 2000, 2500 & 2000 Child Labour.
 
Integrated Housing Schemes    
Under the revised Integrated Housing Scheme for Beedi-Workers in Bihar, a total of 1,026 beneficiaries at Jamui district have been recommended or sanctioned by Govt. of India.

Training Wing: The Directorate of Employment & Training, in Ministry of Labour, Employment & Training, is the apex organisation for development and co-ordination at State Level for the Programmes relating to vocational training including Women's Vocational Training. Industrial Training Institutes are under the administrative and financial control of this directorate.
 
Main responsibilities of this directorate are as follows:
 
- To carry out the policy of National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT), Govt of India.
- To implement the decision and carryout the policy laid down by the National Council in respect of syllabi, equipment, space, duration of courses, method of Training, standard of Training.
- To arrange periodical inspection of the training institutes/centers and ensure that the standards prescribed by the National Council are being followed.
- To ensure that the staff is employed according to the qualification prescribed by NCVT.
- To ensure that the examinations are conducted according to the standard and manner prescribed by the national council.
 
Employment Wing  The Employment wing of the Directorate of Employment & Training, under the administrative control of the Dept. of Labour, Employment & Training, Govt. of Bihar, is responsible for administration of the network of Employment Exchanges and University Employment & Information Guidance Bureau in the whole of the State of Bihar, with the mission to collect, process and disseminate all information relating to job opportunities to all job seekers in order to provide job assistance to them.
 
Objectives of Employment Wing
- To rehabilitate war victims of World-War-II and subsequently displaced persons and later on, people in general.
- To provide job assistance to all the job seekers and educated unemployed persons.
- To enforce the provisions of Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act, 1959 and the rules framed there under.
- To provide information relating to higher, technical and professional courses to all job seekers to improve their employability and enrichment of their skill through the Vocational Guidance Programme at all Employment Exchanges in the State.

Scope of Employment Wing
 
In the fast changing job market scenario and ever increasing opportunities relating to economic development, there is wide scope for providing information relating to wage-employment as well as self-employment to job seekers and providing them job assistance.
 
Functions of Employment Wing
 
- To control, supervise and monitor the functioning of the Employment Exchanges as controlling authority.
- To inspect, maintain the accounts and administration of the Employment Exchanges and other regional offices within the State and their evaluation.
- To process and review different statistical returns submitted by different Employment Exchanges and analyse them in the light of different socio-economic background and professional structure.
 
                                                       Source: Department of Labour Resources of Bihar
 
            


Wednesday, 13th Mar 2019, 05:49:55 AM

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