Welcome to the official website of All India Postal Employees Union Group 'C'- अखिल भारतीय डाक कर्मचारी संघ वर्ग 'सी' की आधिकारिक वेबसाइट में आपका स्वागत है
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Friday, May 31, 2013

Abolition of Posts - Legal Position

As per the orders issued by the Government of India in 2001 for abolishing posts as per screening committee recommendations, only 2/3 direct recruitment vacancies should be abolished. Promotional Posts should not be abolished. Based on this order NFPE Kerala filed a case in CAT Ernakulam against abolishing Postmen & Group ‘D’ posts, as these posts are promotional posts of GDS employees. Department argued that promotion from GDS to Postman/MTS is direct recruitment and not promotion. But CAT has not accepted Department arguments. CAT, Ernakulam bench delivered a Judgement that promotion from GDS to Postman/MTS is not direct recruitment but promotion. CAT Directed CPMG not to abolish Postman/MTS posts and to fill up all the posts by promoting GDS.

Department went on appeal to High court Kerala. But High Court confirmed CAT order. Accordingly in Kerala circle all the promotional posts of GDS were filled by promoting GDS. Based on the same order now P4 CHQ and GDS (NFPE) have filed a case in Principal CAT and obtained stay order from abolishing Postmen & MTS posts.

Some comrades are asking why abolition of PA/SA posts cannot by stayed. Department is not abolishing the promotional posts in the PA and SA cadre (LGOs vacancies). But they are abolishing direct recruitment vacancies only.

Eranakulam CAT order is not applicapable to Direct recruitment vacancies. It is applicable to promotional vacancies only. In the PA/SA cadre there is no promotional vacancy for GDS in the oustide quota (Direct Recruitment Quota). This is the legal position. There is no chance for getting stay order for PA/SA direct recruitment post as it is not promotional post. This is the legal advice received by us.

NFPE and CHQ has protested against the abolition of Posts, but Department of posts is taking a stand that eventhough they have tried best to get exemption from abolishing direct recruitment posts, the Government of India has not granted any exemption and hence the Direct recruitment vacancies recommended by screening committee up to 2008 have to be abolished. From 2009 onwards there is no abolition of posts and all the vacancies can filled up as per the orders of the Department.

Regarding postmen and MTS abolition, the abolition is stayed on Technical grounds stated above because the CAT Ernakulam has clearly ruled that promotion from GDS to Postman & MTS is not direct recruitment.

This argument cannot be raised in the case of PA/SA direct recruitment vacancies.

EDITORIAL - BHARTIYA POST, JUNE 2013

CADRE RESTRUCTURING
“JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED”

The sixth CPC in para 1.2.13 of its report under the caption “Cadre Review” made the following observations – “Accordingly, as a matter of policy, the commission refrained from undertaking specific cadre reviews, that in any case need to be carried out within an institutional frame work”. Govt. of India has accepted the above recommendations of the Sixth CPC. Subsequently the Govt. has issued detailed instructions to all Ministers and Departments to undertake the process of Cadre Restructuring within their institutional frame work.

Accordingly, Cadre restructuring committees are constituted in most of the departments with the representatives of the staff-side. In Railways, the process is completed and waiting for approval of the Ministry, in Income Tax the proposal is awaiting Cabinet approval, in Central Secretariat orders in respect of certain cadres already issued. In many other small departments also the process is nearing completion.

In the Postal department the cadre restructuring of Group-C, Postmen, Mail Guard and MTS is long overdue. Department and Govt. implemented many cadre restructuring schemes for    Group- A and Group-B cadres. In the Group-C, Postman, Mail Guard & MTS cadre, the supervisory responsibilities are totally undermined after the introduction of TBOP and BCR scheme. The then existing Supervisory structure in each cadre was not properly nurtured and not improved to carry out the higher Supervisory responsibilities in tune with the changing technology. The supervisory posts in certain cadres are totally dismantled. There is absolute justification for restructuring the entire cadres. But the attitude of the Postal Board is totally negative despite several written assurances.

The Staff-side comprising NFPE and FNPO raised the issue of cadre restructuring in the charter of demands for the indefinite strike from 13.07.2010 In the marathon discussion held on 12.07.2010, the Secretary, Posts assured as follows in the minutes – “A committee comprising DDG (Estt.), DDG (P), and Director (SR) and three members of the Staff side, to be nominated by them, will be constituted to examine proposals in detail and submit recommendations. The entire process is to be completed before the close of the year i.e., 31-12-2010”. Again during the strike charter discussion on 01-07-2011, the Secretary, Posts gave the following assurances in the minutes – “The demand of the staff-side regarding cadre restructuring was discussed and the Chairperson agreed to reconstitute the committee under the Chairmanship of DDG(P), the Committee will finalize the proposals before 31-08-2011. Again on 12-01-2012 the Secretary, Posts assured that – “the Staffside expressed their concern about undue delay in finalization of the proposal on which the Chairperson desired finalization of this process by 31st March, 2012. It was assured that timelines would be adhered to”.

As regards restructuring of Postal Accounts it was informed that the proposal was cleared by JS & FA and stands referred to Secretary, Posts. It was also decided to have a separate Committee for MMS staff under the Chairmanship of Ms. Sandhya Rani, PMG(BD), Andhra Circle and with Director (MV) as other official members. The staff side members are also included. The committee was directed to submit its report within three months.

Assurances after assurances are given by none other than Secretary, Posts but nothing materialized. Finally as an insult to injury, the cadre restructuring proposal of Postal Accounts which is already been finalized by the Committee is returned to the PA wing of the Directorate after keeping the file pending for more than one year, stating certain irrelevant issues which has no relevance on the cadre restructuring proposal of Postal Accounts Staff. Similarly, in the status Report on the items included in the memorandum submitted by the Postal JCA on 01-04-2013, it is informed as follows : “DDG(P), Chairman of the Committee informed that he has submitted his report on 06-11-2012 to the DDG (ESTT.). He has been requested to submit full report with enclosures duly signed by the Committee Members….!!!!! Nothing is mentioned about the Postal Accounts wing. Regarding MMS, it is informed that the report is submitted is under process. All the cadres including PA, SA, Postman, Mail Guard, MTS, Admn. Staff, Postal Accounts, MMS, System Administrators, accountants, Postmasters cadre, SBCO etc., are all eagerly waiting for the outcome of the cadre restructuring.

Thus it can be seen that the lethargic and indifferent attitude of the Official side members of the Committee and the unhelpful attitude of the Postal Board is the root cause of the delay.

Even though the new Secretary, Posts after taking over charge has assured that action will be taken for  expediting the finalization of the cadre restructuring proposals, nothing seems to be moving. A situation has arisen wherein the employees can not be allowed to suffer any further. The Postal JCA has viewed the situation with grave concern and shall embark upon serious agitational programmes including non-cooperation, if the authorities till try to drag on the issue on one pretext or other. NFPE Federal Council to be held at Hyderabad from 9th to 12th June 2013 shall also review the entire situation and take appropriate decision for a united action.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

FOR THE ATTENTION OF ALL DIVISIONAL/BRANCH SECRETARIES

The following publications are readily available with CHQ published for the sake of imparting awareness to our beloved members.

VENTURE 2013 –

Containing 28 main topics, sub divided into subject wise – more than 1250 important orders Beautifully compiled – Around 800 pages – costs only 350/- + (Postage Extra)
A complete reference book on service matters - A faithful companion to Postal Comrades

THE PIONEER

1000 Questions and Answers on staff ruling to enrich our Postal buddies at a large – 188 pages Costs only Rs. 75/- + (Postage Extra)



AVANT GARDE (DVD)

Costs Rs. 50/- soft copy containing plenty of rulings at a touch.








All the stake holders are requested to use this opportunity of indenting the above materials and take advantage of gaining information on staff matters.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Draft Triennial report of National Federation of Postal Employees for the period from June 2010 to May 2013 placed before the Federal Council held at Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) 
from 09.06.2013 to 12.6.2013

Introduction of "Basic Savings Account" under Post office Savings Account Rule 1981 to facilitate opening of Zero Balance Accounts by beneficiaries of any Government Welfare Scheme regarding

Grant of Dearness Relief at the rate of 5th CPC w.e.f. 1.1.2013

Saturday, May 25, 2013

GDS AND CASUAL LABOUR LATEST NEWS


1.      Postal Board has sent the proposal for introducing Health Insurance Scheme to GDS, to Finance Ministry for approval.
2.      GDS Bonus ceiling limit raising – Finance Ministry has again returned the file with adverse comments.
3.      Casual Labourers Committee recommendations have been considered by the Postal Board and proposal of the Postal Board is being sent to Finance Ministry for approval. Kerala CAT also directed the Department to communicate its decision on the Casual Labour committee’s recommendations to the CAT.
4.      Mass Dharna will be conducted in front of all Divisional offices on 28.05.2013 demanding immediate settlement of GDS demands. The Dharna will be organized by AIPEU-GDS (NFPE) and NFPE.

Grant of one increment in pre-revised pay scale

Promotion and posting to the Grade of Member, Postal Services Board, Indian Postal Service, Group 'A'

Issue of Due Mail & Sorting List consequent upon implementation of Redesigned Network for First Class and Second Class mail under MNOP

Friday, May 24, 2013

CONFEDERATION CIRCULAR NO. 2 DATED 22nd MAY, 2013


CONFEDERATION OFCENTRAL GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES AND WORKERS.
1st  Floor North Avenue Post Office Building, New Delhi-110001
Website:confederationhq.blogspot.com Ph. No. 011.23092771
  
Conf/ 2 /2013                                                                                  Dated: 22nd  May,, 2013.

Dear Comrade,

The National Conference of Confederation held at Kolkata from 4th to 6th May, 2013 had directed the Secretariat to pursue the efforts to have a joint platform for struggles along with the Railways and Defence Federations. As a step towards that end, a meeting with the General Secretary of the All India Railway- men Federation has been arranged to take place on 28th inst.  We shall convey to you the outcome of the discussions on 28th.

The next meeting to discuss the pension related issues with the Secretary (Pension) will be held on 28th May, 2013. Com. S.K. Vyas, Advisor and Com. K.K.N. Kutty, President will attend the meeting. A brief note on the outcome of the discussions will be placed on the website after 28th inst.

The Conference had also decided that the Confederation must pursue the 15 point charter of demands through independent endeavours.   Accordingly the Conference had called upon all affiliates and the State Committees to organize a massive dharna  programme on 20th June, 2013. The State Committees are requested to organize the programme in consultation with the respective units of the affiliates at all State Capitals as also other important towns and centres.  A report on the implementation of the programme may please be sent to the CHQ by 10TH July, 2013.

With greetings,

Yours fraternally,

M. Krishnan
Secretary General.
Mobile: 09447068125

SHORTAGE OF STAFF IN POSTAL DEPARTMENT


GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 6875
ANSWERED ON 8.05.2013

SHORTAGE OF STAFF IN POSTAL DEPARTMENT

6875 . Smt. DARSHANA VIKRAM JARDOSH, ASHOK TANWAR
Will the Minister of COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY be pleased to state:-
(a) whether the Government has abolished 17093 posts across the cadres in the department of posts during the period from 2005 to 2008; 
(b) if so, the details thereof and the reasons therefor; 
(c) whether there is a shortage of staff in various cadre in the department and in the post offices in the country; 
(d) if so, the details thereof, State-wise; and 
(e) the steps proposed to be taken to fill the vacant posts expeditiously, so as to ensure prompt and quality service to customers?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (Dr. (SMT) KILLI KRUPARANI)
(a) Yes, Madam.
(b) The details of abolition of posts are placed at Annexure-I. The reasons for abolition of posts were in accordance with Department of Personnel & Training OM No. 2/8/2001-PIC dated 16.5.2001 vide which the Scheme of Optimization for Annual Direct Recruitment Plan was launched. As per this Scheme, the direct recruitment was to be limited to 1/3rd of the direct recruitment vacancies arising in a year subject to a further ceiling that it does not exceed 1% of the total sanctioned strength of the Department. The remaining direct recruitment posts were required to be abolished. 
(c) Manpower requirement and regular recruitment is an ongoing process in the Government. Shortage of staff in the Department and in the Post offices in various cadres arises mainly due to promotion, retirement, death, leave or transfer. 
(d) Does not arise in view of (c) above..
(e) Vacancies in the Department are filled up by promotion or by direct recruitment as per extant procedures regularly.
ANNEXURE-I
Abolition of posts across various cadres in the Department of Posts during 2005-2008.

Year
No. of direct recruitment vacancies abolished
2005
2121
2006
5426
2007
4957
2008
4589
Total
17093

INCREMENT PROVISION FOR RETIRING EMPLOYEES: GOVT REPLY IN RAJYA SABHA


In written reply of question "whether Government proposes to modify the existing recommendation of the Sixth Pay Commission that Central Government employees will get an increment in the month of July in every calendar year to ensure that those Government employees who are retiring irrespective of the month of the calendar year and have at least put in more than six months of service get the last increment", Govt has submitted that there is no proposal under consideration of the Government to make any changes in increment date.

See full details of Rajya Sabha Q&A:-

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF  FINANCE
RAJYA SABHA

UNSTARRED QUESTION NO-4380                        ANSWERED ON-07.05.2013

Increment provision for retiring employees

4380. SARDAR BALWINDER SINGH BHUNDAR

(a)  whether Government proposes to modify the existing recommendation of the Sixth Pay Commission that Central Government employees will get an increment in the month of July in every calendar year to ensure that those Government employees who are retiring irrespective of the month of the calendar year and have at least put in more than six months of service get the last increment;

(b)  if so, by when a revised notification will be issued to benefit those retiring Government employees as it affects their pensionary benefits etc.; and

(c)  if not, the reasons therefor?

ANSWER

MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE (SHRI NAMO NARAIN MEENA)

(a) to (c) : The existing provision for uniform date of annual increment on 1st July every year is based on the recommendations of the 6th Central Pay Commission which went into the service conditions of the Central Government employees taking into account all relevant factors. There is no proposal under consideration of the Government to make any changes therein.

Source: Rajya Sabha Q&A

NATIONAL PENSION SYSTEM (NPS) - LATEST STATUS OF SUBSCRIBERS OF NPS AS ON 7.5.2013

Status update on filing up of vacancies in Postman/Mail Guard and MTS Cadres - reg.


DOUBLE DIGIT RETURNS ON NATIONAL PENSION SYSTEM (NPS) SCHEMES FOR FINANCIAL YEAR 2012-13


The National Pension System (NPS) regulated by Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has delivered double digit returns for the financial year 2012-13 and has evidenced itself as not just being the cheapest retirement product but also as the highest returns generating scheme.

            PFRDA advises that various NPS schemes have earned the following average annual returns during the financial year recently ended on 31st March, 2013 (Weighted Average):
Details are as under:

Sr. No.
Scheme
   Average returns (in %)
1
Central Government
12.39
2
State Government
13.00
3
Swavlamban
13.40
4
Private: Equity
8.38
5
Private: Corporate Debt
14.19
6
Private: Government Debt
13.52

            Last year PFRDA had issued revised guidelines for Registration of Pension Fund Managers to manage NPS for Private sector, under which eight Pension Fund Managers have been registered so far- SBI Pension Funds Pvt. Ltd., UTI Retirement Solutions Ltd., LIC Pension Fund Ltd., Kotak Mahindra Pension Fund Ltd., Reliance Capital Pension Fund Ltd., ICICI Prudential Pension Funds Management Co. Ltd., HDFC Pension Management Co. Ltd. and DSP Black Rock Pension Fund Managers Pvt. Ltd.
            
            Pension Fund Managers are now allowed to prescribe their own fee subject to ceiling of 0.25% to enable an economically viable model for their operations.
            PFRDA also recently revised its Investment Guidelines, with a view to improve performance of Pension Fund Managers by direct investment in equity & corporate debt and not through mutual funds etc. Further for better risk management prudential sectoral norms have also been introduced.
            The National Pension System which was introduced by the Central Government in January 2004 for its new entrants and subsequently extended to the private sector in May 2009 has accumulated a corpus of Rs 33,000 crores contributed by 50 lakhs subscribers.


DSM/RS/ka
(Release ID :96012)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


To

All Branch/Divisional Secretaries
All Circle Secretaries
All CHQ office bearers

Dear Comrades,

As per the decision of the 1st AIC of the AIPEU-GDS (NFPE) Mass Dharna in front of all Divisional offices will be conducted on 28.05.2013 Tuesday as the first phase of the agitational programme culminating in indefinite strike. NFPE calls upon all Divisional/Circle/All India unions to make it a joint programme of NFPE, extend full support and also to make it a grand success.


(M. Krishnan)
General Secretary, P3
Secretary General, NFPE

AIPEU-GDS(NFPE) STRUGGLE PROGRAMME


Dear Comrades,

As it was decided in our 1st All India Conference held in Chennai, the following struggle program has to be conducted by all the members of AIPEU-GDS (NFPE) in all the Divisions/Circles.

28-05-2013 
Day long dharna in front of all Divisional offices in all Circles.
25-06-2013 
Day long dharna in front of all Circle Offices.
23-07-2013 
Day long dharna infront of Dak Bhawan, New Delhi along with other affiliated unions of NFPE.
September 2013 
'March to Parliament' by GDS employees 
(subject to the commencement of Parliament session, date will be announced later)
Last Phase
Indefinite strike (date will be announced later)

CHQ Circular has already been published / posted to all CHQ office bearers & all Circle Secretaries to conduct the struggle program with the affiliated unions of NFPE, by arrange meetings to mobilize the GDS members to make the program successful.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Filling up the posts of Postmaster Grade-III IN Post offices in Postal Circles

Inter-Circle temporary transfer policy guidelines



PM’S ADDRESS AT 45TH SESSION OF THE INDIAN LABOUR CONFERENCE


Following is the text of the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s address at the 45th session of the Indian Labour Conference in New Delhi:

         “Let me begin by emphasizing that this is a very important conference that deliberates issues of critical importance to our workers and industry, and therefore to our economy and society at large. I feel happy that as Prime Minister I have participated in all Sessions of the Indian Labour Conference that have taken place since 2005, except the one in 2009 which I could not attend due to ill-health. As you begin proceedings in this 45th Session of the Conference, I compliment you on your past achievements and extend my best wishes for your efforts in the future. It is also my hope that this Session will build further upon the rich legacy of the earlier Sessions.

          Before I proceed further, let me also state that our Government has paid very serious attention to the issues that Trade Unions have raised from time to time. The recent two-day strike by Trade Unions focused on a number of issues relating to the welfare not only of the working-classes but also the people at large. These include demands on which there can be no disagreement. For example, demands for concrete measures for containing inflation, for generation of employment opportunities, for strict implementation of labour laws, are unexceptionable. There can however be differences on the best ways of fulfilling these demands and we are willing to engage constructively with the Trade Unions in this regard.

           Some other demands raised by the Trade Unions are already under an advanced stage of consideration by the Government. These include issues like universal social security cover for workers in both the organized and unorganized sectors and creation of a National Social Security Fund, fixing a National Floor Level Minimum Wage and provision of minimum pension of Rs. 1000 per month under the Employees’ Pension Scheme. In fact, the Cabinet has already approved amendments to the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 to provide for a statutory National Floor Level Minimum Wage.

          The third set of demands relates to issues on which further dialogue with Trade Union leaders appears necessary, including tripartite discussions. We have set up a Group of Ministers under the Finance Minister to go into the whole gamut of demands raised by the Trade Unions and I am confident that soon you will see some forward movement on these demands. 

          I believe that many of the demands of the Trade Unions reflect the concern that our growth and progress should be inclusive and should particularly benefit the under-privileged sections of our society. This is a concern that has been very dear to our Government. We believe that providing our people with productive employment opportunities is the best way of achieving this objective.

          According to some available data, we created 20 million additional job opportunities during the period 2004-05 and 2009-10. The unemployment rate came down from 8.3% to 6.6% during the same period. This period suffered from one of the worst global meltdowns in history and most of the countries, developed and developing, have registered increases in their unemployment rates while we were still able to create additional jobs. Employment in the organized sector registered a growth of more than 9% from 26.5 million in 2005 to 29 million in 2011. It is heartening to note that women employed in the organized sector have also registered a growth of about 19% during the same period.
         Our Government has also made serious efforts in implementing various employment generation programmes such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), National Rural Livelihood Mission, Swarnajayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojna and Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme. There has been an increase in allocations of these schemes over the years which have provided employment opportunities to a large number of men and women, particularly persons belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. MGNREGA has been particularly helpful in reducing inter-State migration of labour, eliminating bonded labour and raising the purchasing power of the rural households. Women participation under the scheme has been more than 48%. It is also heartening to note that rural women are increasingly going for self-employment opportunities in ever increasing numbers. Out of a total of 44.32 lakh Self-Help Groups in our country, 30.21 lakh are exclusively for women which accounts for more than 68%. We propose to continue this effort in future as well.
          Clearly, skill development is crucial to our efforts for providing decent employment opportunities to our large and growing young population. A skilled workforce is also a pre-requisite for the achievement of our objective of rapid and inclusive growth. Therefore, we have laid special emphasis on skill development. 
          Our aim is to skill 5 crore people by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan. This will not only help in generating good quality employment but will also provide Industry with the skilled workforce they need to expand and modernize their operations. During the last five years, the number of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in the country has doubled from about 5000 to about 10000. About 1700 Government ITIs have been modernized. Another 3000 ITIs, 5000 Skill Development Centres and 27 Advanced Training Institutes are proposed to be set up during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17). The Modular Employable Skills (MES) programme of the Ministry of Labour & Employment provides short duration courses to prospective trainees using both Government and private infrastructure. It is an attempt towards increasing employment in the unorganized sector at a rapid pace. 
        In order to achieve our ambitious targets, the skilling efforts of both the Central and the State Governments need to be supplemented by the private sector. Furthermore, skills need to be closely matched with emerging job requirements. This calls for setting up of national standards for skill formation benchmarked to global standards, development of appropriate curriculum design for specific skills and formation of new assessment and certifying bodies besides strengthening the existing ones. 
         The National Skill Development Corporation has been established for promoting private sector efforts in the area of skill development. In addition, the Government has recently taken the decision to set up the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) to anchor and operationalize the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) which should play a vital role in transforming the quality of training in our country. The NSDA will also endeavor to bridge the social, regional, gender and economic divides in processes of skill development.
         I have no doubt that with active participation of the industry, the Trade Unions and the Government, we will be able to achieve more effective outcomes in improving the employability of our youth and thus pave the way for generating decent employment opportunities for them commensurate with their rising aspirations. This is the task to which I commit our country. 
         Ever since the UPA Government came to power in 2004, we have endeavoured to work for the welfare of workers. When I look back at what I had said when I addressed the 40th Session of this Conference in 2005, I feel a sense of satisfaction that we have delivered substantially on the promises we had made at that time. I had at that time spoken about the need for a new deal to the working people, the need for ensuring the welfare and well being of all workers, particularly those in the unorganized sector, and the legislation that was under consideration in this regard. I am happy that we have achieved good results in these areas, though I would be the first one to recognize that there is much that still needs to be done. 

        We launched the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) in 2008 to provide for smart card based hospitalization facilities for workers in the unorganized sector. We have been expanding the reach of the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) to cover larger numbers of workers in the informal sector. Under this scheme, 3.41 crore smart cards have been issued so far. The RSBY now covers additional categories of workers including construction workers, street vendors, domestic workers and even beneficiaries of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme.

       Our Government enacted the Unorganized Workers Social Security Act, 2008 for the benefit of the workers in the informal sector. 
         We have increased the eligibility limit under the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 from Rs 3500 per month to Rs 10000 per month. The medical bonus payable under the Maternity Benefit Act of 1961 has also been enhanced. We have also enhanced the period of unemployment allowance to retrenched workers from 6 months to 1 year under the Rajiv Gandhi Shramik Kalyan Yojana.
       The National Policy on Safety, Health and Environment and the National Policy on HIV and AIDS in the World of Work were put in place in the year 2009.

         We have taken proactive steps for elimination of child labour. Our Government has taken a decision to amend the Child Labour Prohibition & Regulation Act, 1986 to ban all child labour below 14 years to enable our children to exercise their right to education. I am happy that the number of children working as labourers in our country has decreased by 45% from 90.75 lakh in 2004-05 to 49.84 lakh in year 2009-10. We now need to ensure that this is brought down further.
         A number of Bills have been introduced for amending Acts such as the Labour Laws (Exemption from Furnishing Returns and Maintaining Registers by Certain Establishments) Act, 1988, the Mines Act, 1952 and the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979. Besides, a number of amendments in labour laws are at various stages of consideration.

         The Employees` State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Act was amended in the year 2010 to cover factories employing 10 or more workers, instead of the earlier threshold of 20. The wage ceiling for coverage of employees has been enhanced from Rupees 10,000 to Rs.15,000 per month. The number of establishments covered has increased to 5.80 lakh till the end of 2011-12 from 3.94 lakh in year 2008-09. Twenty seven ESIC hospitals are being modernized and four have already been upgraded. Five new ESIC hospitals were commissioned in 2011-12. Insured persons are now being issued Smart Cards and super specialty treatment facilities have been extended to them. The ESIC organization has undertaken a massive computerization project for more effective delivery of benefits to the insured persons. 
        Modernization initiatives in the Employees Provident Fund Organization have resulted in 25% increase in the settlement of claims as compared to the previous year. The Status of all Provident Fund Accounts is now available online along with SMS alerts for important account information. Payment is now possible through National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT). 
        There are certain vulnerable groups of workers that need our special attention. I would urge this Conference to focus particularly on the well being and welfare of migrant workers, domestic workers and those working in unsafe conditions. These groups not only need special legislative support but also a more effective implementation of the existing laws that have been made for their protection and wellbeing. We need to bring in the best international practices for bringing about improvements in their working conditions.

         The Government of India, Industry, Trade Unions and State Governments need to work in partnership to strengthen our society, our economy and our country. I would like to take today`s opportunity to reaffirm our Government`s firm commitment to building such a partnership. We are all aware that our economy is going through difficult circumstances and our growth is not what we would like it to be. Even as the Government works for reversing this situation and I am confident, we can do so and we will do it, we need the cooperation of both Captains of Industry and our Trade Unions. In the recent months we have taken a number of steps to boost investment, encourage enterprise and improve business sentiment. We have paid special attention to the need for removing bottlenecks that hamper new industrial activity. I would urge you all Captains of Industry and Trade Union leaders to help us in making a success of these efforts. I wish your deliberations all success.” 
****


SH/NK/SKS
(Release ID :96045) (PIB 17.05.2013)