Ease of doing business in India is getting lots of attention of Indian policy makers. Whether it is the passing of the Insolvency And Bankruptcy Code, 2016 by the Parliament of India or pushing of the Digital India project by Indian government, businesses are going to be benefited by these exercises.
Indian government is also encouraging submission of online applications and licence requests and is working in the direction of launching a single platform for these purposes. This would not only reduce the number of applications an individual or company would be required to make to Indian government but would also help entrepreneurs in establishing their business in a trouble free manner.
Taking cue from this situation, over 800 companies have submitted a petition to the Ministry of Labour, requesting to make all the labour law compliances paperless , a move that they believe will help arrest the depletion of natural resources and improve ease of doing business. The petition appeals to the government to move all employers and employees' mandatory filing online over the next 24 months as "mandatory paper filing has neither improved the condition of our labour nor ensured better enforcement".
Compliance with labour laws requires corporates to use 500 crore sheets of paper or 6 lakh trees every year. Besides the environmental destruction, the lack of online submissions creates a huge administrative load for employers.
Meanwhile Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said on Thursday that union government will pursue any amendment on labour laws only after unanimity among all the stake holders and agreed that the issue of minimum wages has to be given serious thought. The government has also unveiled labour reforms to make rules simpler and employee-friendly. It also seeks to do away with arbitrary inspections at factories, reduce paperwork and make India more investor-friendly.
We at Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) believe that the proposed online labour law compliance system is just a single step in the direction of labour reforms in India. We need a holistic and techno legal policy to bring true labour reforms in India. For instance, as per a recent amendment in France's labour law, the nation's government has made it illegal for employers to send out work-related e-mails after typical working hours. The amendment has bestowed upon the employees the 'right to disconnect' and put their work life on hold when not in office. Similarly, labour law reforms are need of the hour and the ruling BJP government has to win the trust of the opposition for the same. We hope labour law reforms in India would see the light of the day very soon.