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Ease inspector raj: CII

Our Regional Bureau  |  New Delhi 

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), northern region has called for simplification of labour laws and inspection procedures to attract investment and make industry more productive.
A recent CII study said the maintenance of too many forms and registers under different laws should be avoided. The study reviewed labour, social security and environment laws with reference to inspections, maintenance of records and filing of returns in Punjab and Haryana.
The study favoured a single muster roll containing stipulations of the Factories Act, the Minimum Wages Act and the ESI Act. The registers for fine, advance, leave, and damage or loss could be consolidated into the register of wages, like in Haryana, the review said.
It suggested accident-registers for Factories Act and ESI Act be merged and a single inspection book kept. The study found that return forms under various laws had similar titles.
"To avoid duplication, their titles should be rationalised and they can be compiled into a single booklet like in Haryana," the CII review added.
The governments should consolidate annual income-tax returns records into single format like the core return filed under labour laws. This could be extended to medium and large-scale establishments.
Laws such as the Weekly Holidays Act 1942 binding on non-factory establishments has become redundant.
The Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act 1959 had negligible relevance in a liberalised economy. The Employers Liability Act 1938 could be incorporated in the Workmen's Compensation Act and the ESI Act, the study suggested.
Appreciating the initiatives by the Punjab and Haryana governments, the CII said the simplification process should be intensified.
Enforcement officials at the grassroots level were not aware of the procedures already simplified and were still adhering to the conventional pattern, noted the review, while prescribing a thorough orientation for them.
Remarking that investor-friendly policies and a responsive bureaucracy were the prerequisites for development, the CII study said the state governments should minimise the inspector raj for rapid development of industry.

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First Published: Tue, December 16 2003. 00:00 IST