Maharashtra Labour Minister Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar today caused a flutter in the Legislative Council when he linked opening of 34 lakh new EPF accounts to generation of as many jobs in the state during 2014 to 2018.
Speaking during a discussion on labour issues, the minister said, "A total of 34 lakh new Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) accounts have been opened between 2014 and 2018. This indicates new employment generation in the state".
To support his claim, the minister said the state government has not given any permission since 2014 to close down factories.
However, a Labour official said opening of new EPF accounts does not necessarily indicate generation of new employment.
"Opening of EPF accounts is one of the factors to measure the employment generation. It is not the only factor. The reasons behind the rise in the EPF accounts include transfer of accounts, various public trusts opting for opening of such accounts apart from opening of new accounts," the official said.
The minister further said the state government is coming up with a new health and safety policy for employees working in factories, shops and establishments, and construction sites.
"We will ensure safety of employees. Besides, workers rights will be protected while making amendments to (Factories Act) to ease the closure of factories," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)