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Labour & Employment

West Bengal occupied a predominant place in the industrial scenario of the country in the pre independence era. Mainly due to flight of capital and shrinkage of market for traditional industries like jute this region passed through a difficult time in the last few decades. The State Government has however taken measures to improve the industrial climate in the State so as to attract entrepreneurs to set up new industrial units both large and small.


This policy of the State Government in this arena is to ensure fair remuneration for the workers and safeguard their interest and save them from exploitation. With this end in view the main emphasis has been given on the settlement of disputes between the management and the workers through conciliation. In 1992, 1028 disputes could be settled amicably through conciliation thereby benefiting thousands of workers. The incidence of work-stoppage due to strike/lock out or closure are monitored through the Labour Directorate for speedy and just solution of the disputes. In recent years industry-wise wage settlements were reached in Engineering/Jute & Textile industries for the purpose of prescribing wage pattern, formula for D.A structure and work-norms.


The Government is paying attention to the improvement of service conditions and welfare of the millions of workers working in the non-organized sectors. For this purpose, Government have ensured minimum wage for workers working in the non-organized sectors. For this purpose, Government have ensured minimum wage for workers engaged in 36 industries and equal renumeration for women workers. The rates of minimum wages are periodically reviewed and revised.


The problem of child labour in industries is getting special attention of the State Government Labour laws regulating terms and conditions of employment of child labour & their welfare have been enacted and enforced. Schemes have been undertaken for education, health-care, recreational facilities for the child worker with the support of the I.L.O.


The Government of West Bengal has set up the West Bengal Labour Welfare(W.B.L.W) Board for rendering & promoting welfare activities amongst the workers in the state Holiday homes & Labour Welfare centres have already been established. During 92-93 a fund to the tune of Rs.33.16 lakhs have been released for the purpose. The W.B.L.W Board also grants financial help in the form of scholarships/stipends to the sons & daughters of workers. There is a like workers Welfare Fund under which similar benefits are being given to sons & daughters of like workers.


All recruitments in the State Government Estt/ Semi Government undertaking/quasi-Government Estts & local bodies, where recruitment is not made through the Public Service commission, are made through the Public Service Commission, are made through Employment Exchanges. There is a network of Employment Exchange in the State. In addition, the unemployed persons who cannot be offered in the Government & semi-Government sectors are assisted through schemes for Self-employment Programmes like SESRU/Self-employment for educated unemployed youths. There are job reservation for the physically handicapped persons and to help them, a separate employment exchange has been set up.


The State introduced Employees State Insurance(Medical Benefit) Scheme in 1955 which is applicable to the factories, Hotels, Restaurants, Newspaper Estts, Cinema Houses, Transport Estts and shops employing 20 or more persons.


The insured persons are offered Medical care through ESI Hospitals and Service dispensaries and benefits under the Acts like sickness benefit, maternity benefits under the Acts like sickness benefit, maternity benefits, dependent benefits, disablement benefits, etc. During 1992 Rs. 14.46 crores was disbursed to the insured persons and other beneficiaries as cast benefits.


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