Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Oct 15, 2005


News
Features
Stocks
Shipping
Archives
Google

Group Sites

Industry & Economy - Employment


`Job creation, competition can co-exist'

M. Ramesh

On labour law reforms, Dr V. Krishnamurthy, Chairman of the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council, wants better understanding of the issues by both employers and the trade unions.

Chennai , Oct. 14

AFTER the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) put out its `draft strategy for achieving 12 per cent growth in manufacturing' for public feedback, some experts have commented that there is an inherent contradiction in the twin objectives of the council — achieving competitiveness, on the one hand, and small scale sector development and employment generation, on the other.

Among them are economists Dr Isher Ahluwalia and Dr Subir Gokarn. But Dr V. Krishnamurthy, Chairman of the council, is personally not of that view. In an interview to Business Line on Friday, he said that he saw competitiveness as a means to employment generation. As regards SMEs, he said that given its role in the economy, they could hardly be ignored.

On labour law reforms, Dr Krishnamurthy called for better understanding of the issues by both employers and the trade unions.

People on both sides are obsessed with two acts — the Industrial Disputes Act and the Contract Labour Act, Dr Krishnamurthy said. He added that both the acts had lost their relevance.

The ID Act has not hindered companies from reducing their labour force. "Tata Steel used to have 75,000 people on their rolls when they produced one million tonnes of steel. Now, they are going to produce seven million tonnes with half the number of people," Dr Krishnamurthy pointed out.

On the other hand, the ID Act has given some companies an alibi to act against the interests of the labourers — such as by employing them for short periods so that they do not have to be taken on rolls, he said. This also results in sub-optimal utilisation of training provided to them, which is a "national waste."

As regards the laws relating to abolition of contract labour, Dr Krishnamurthy said, "Even today, the number of people on contract labour exceeds the number on permanent employment." Blaming "excessive politicisation" for the waste of time and energy on discussing these labour laws, he noted that there were many other areas where constructive work was possible. For example, both employers and trade unions are worried about the continuing Inspector Raj. There is scope for reforms here, he added.

Dr Krishnamurthy wanted the trade unions to understand that the employers are not asking for freedom to `hire and fire' but flexibility in labour laws, which would allow them to employ people, whenever the companies had more business. He observed that the trade unions, in "over-stressing conditions of service and security," seemed to be more in favour of those already employed, but really against job seekers.

Employers, on their part, should be fair, he said. He called upon them to provide some basic necessities to a laid-off labourer, such as an assurance that he would be first offered employment when there was business, and other basic facilities such as subsidised food and medical assistance. Dr Krishnamurthy said that both employers and trade unions shared a responsibility to train labourers.

Article E-Mail :: Comment :: Syndication :: Printer Friendly Page



Tata Safari Dicor

Stories in this Section
`Job creation, competition can co-exist'


`Low' crosses land; rain belt moving northward
Vastu Vidya Gurukulam plans pension fund
Dumping duty proposed on NBR from EU, Brazil, Mexico
Car sales rise 10 pc in Sept; CVs up 14.3 pc
Absorption of ITS officers into MTNL, BSNL — SC dismisses DoT plea to vacate stay orders on contingency plan
Tanzanian doctors to get cardio training
Cipla to launch generic drug for bird flu
Emergency medical service in Kottayam
Fund-raising for eye care
IACC team to visit US
Picture of contrast
Ministry nod for CIL coal gasification project with ONGC
`AP has potential to emerge a gas hub'
ONGC refutes allegation of shortfall in LPG supply
LPG supply in AP normal, says official
Gas shortage leaves power utilities struggling
AP announces VAT rebate on ATF
Mangalore Central Excise pegs service tax target at Rs 128 cr
Bihar claims Rs 12 cr more as VAT compensation
India's flavour of the week for BBC from Sunday
WorldSpace begins operations in Pune
Maize processing unit in Vizianagaram
GII sets up centre for diamond research
Continues to shine
Kerala has vast scope in biotech area: Expert
CII, NFDC to coordinate film bazaar at IFFI
Volkswagen team departs after talks
India's paper may become basis for WTO negotiations on services
`Need to make safety norms mandatory'
Mobile expo in Delhi next week
Engagements
Centre urged to curb imports of TSR
India Inc pledges Rs 25-cr aid for quake victims
Relief supplies for quake-hit
`VAT system can spawn money laundering'


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2005, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line