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Fixed term for workers in export zones cleared

New Delhi, Nov 6: The Union labour ministry has cleared the proposal for employment of workers on fixed-term basis in special economic zones (SEZs).

The new law would exempt establishments in SEZs from contributions to provident fund and ESI scheme for five years provided they implement their own schemes without compromising the social security of the workers, labour minister Sahib Singh Verma said today.

He said these changes will be effected in the states which are implementing the SEZ scheme. The new law aims to give flexibility to the employers so that they can compete in the world market and boost the country’s exports.

The minister was speaking at a conference organised by the standing committee on public enterprises (SCOPE) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

He added that the ministry had drawn up a bill for extending the Contract Labour (regulations and abolition) Act, 1970, to non-core sectors provided the employers give full payments to workers and provide other social security provisions available to regular employees.

He said that labour productivity could be taken to higher levels only if the laws are drastically simplified in consultation with trade unions.

“We have initiated the process but the amendment of the Contract Labour Act and provisions for fixed term employment will go a long way in bringing the human capital management in India in tune with global norms,” he added.

SCOPE chairman CP Jain said flexibility in employment relationship is consistent with a fair deal to workers.

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