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Thrust Areas

Child Labour in Chandigarh :

Owing to typical problems of poverty and social insensitivity to the employment of children,the problem of Child labour continues to exist in the State. However, the problem is not endemic.It is virtually non-existent in the prohibited hazardous occupations.The child labor in the State is generally found in the establishments of dhabas, tea-stalls,restaurants and automobile repair workshops etc. It has been the endeavour of the chandigarh Government to bring about optimal development of children by providing them nutrition, health care, education, general, physical and emotional support. It has been striving for the achievement of these goals in accordance with the duties assigned by the constitution of India in Article 39 (e)(f), 45 and especially so under Article 24 regarding prohibition of employment of Children. chandigarh State has also prepared a 'State Plan of Action' for the children which is a very comprehensive document encompassing the various critical areas like health, nutrition, education and environment with issues like girl child, child labour and children especially in difficult circumstances. A 'Child Labour Cell' at headquarters has been constituted to pay special attention towards elimination of Child labour.The Cell is headed by a Joint Labour Commissioner. Moreover, the necessary directions have been issued to the Inspectorate staff to ensure that working hours of such children do not exceed six hours. The other State Government departments which are involved in the task of rehabilitation of Child labour are Health, Education and Social Welfare departments. The Health department has been instructed to get the Child Labour medically examined and issue health cards in the districts. The Project Director, Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan and Director, Primary Education have also been requested to enroll the Child labour in schools. The Child labour who were found in non-hazardous occupations are also being got enrolled in the primary schools and non-formal education centres.Efforts are being made to start special projects of informal education for these children. The meeting of various Associations of the employers are held at the level of senior functionaries of the Labour Department to educate and advise them not to employ Child Labour in their establishments. No doubt, chandigarh State is not having any Child labor endemic area as per Govt. of India norms, yet the State Govt. is fully cognizant of its responsibility for undertaking of the programs of progressive elimination of child labor. The State Government is not only trying to fulfill the Constitutional and Statutory obligations to uplift and rehabilitate the Child Labor families but also trying to bring them in the main stream of the society.

Minimum Wages in Chandigarh :

The chandigarh Govt. seeks to make labour in both the organized and the unorganized sectors an equal and proud partners in the production of nation's wealth and in its progress. The State is fully aware of the economic needs of the workforce including that in agriculture sector. The laws relating to minimum wages and equal pay for equal work for men and women are being strictly implemented. Timely payment of wages to workers and payment of minimum wages to all the workers engaged in scheduled employments are two key factors responsible for maintaining the workers morale and increasing productivity. The Minimum Wages Act.1948 has been enacted for achieving these objectives. In the State, there are 50 scheduled employments including 'agriculture', where minimum rates of wages have been fixed for various categories of workers by the State Government.These minimum rates of wages are linked with consumer price-index number (base year 1972-73=100) with July, 2007 as the base month. The rate of neutralization is Rs. 2.31 per point on the rise or fall of the price index. Adjustment in wages on the basis of consumer price index are made six monthly i.e. Ist January and Ist July every year. Minimum rates of wages w.e.f. 01-07-2007 for unskilled workers is Rs.3510/- p.m. and Rs.135/-per day for industrial workers. The Inspectorate staff of the Labor Department has been given standing instructions to ensure that the minimum wages fixed by the State Government are being paid by the employers. In chandigarh, Joint Labour Commissioners, all Dy. Labour Commissioners, Labour Officer-cum-Conciliation Officers and Labour Inspectors have been declared as 'Inspectors' to ensure proper implementation of the Minimum Wages Act,1948. All the Labour Officer-cum-Conciliation Officers have been declared as 'Authority' under section 20 of the Minimum Wages Act for speedy disposal of the claims cases which are filed by the workers who have been paid less wages. Moreover, the Sate Government has recently amended the Minimum Wages Rules to facilitate the employer in the matter of maintaining of records whereby a number of registers required to be maintained earlier have been substituted through a single register

The Bonded Labour :

The provisions of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976 are being enforced through the agency of District Administration. The State Government has constituted Vigilance Committees headed by District Magistrates and Sub-Divisional Magistrates at District and Sub-Division levels respectively for identification, release and rehabilitation of bonded Labour. The District Magistrates have also been vested with necessary powers for the enforcement of the provisions of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976. Random surveys of vulnerable establishments like brick-kilns, stone-crushers, mines & quarries etc. are being carried out in all the districts to keep a vigil on the situation. Rehabilitation of bonded labour, wherever found, is carried out as per Govt. of India's schemes whereby each worker is entitled for an incidental allowance of Rs. 1000/- and a rehabilitation amount of Rs. 20000/- which is paid by the State to which the bonded labour is repatriated and is shared by State and Centre on the basis of 50-50 .