SRINAGAR: Lack of manpower in the Labour department is hampering the implementation of labour laws in the state, despite repeated pleas to fill the vacancies to the government by the department.
Deputy Labour Commissioner (Kashmir) Ghulam Rasool Kumar said the employee strength in the department has remained the same since last 60 years, which is hampering enforcement of Labour laws.
“Since 1947 there were 300-400 employees in the department and this figure has remained same making it hard to conduct day-to-day operations. Lack of manpower has been raised time and again before the government but to no avail,” Kumar said.
According to Build and Construction Act, one percent of estimated cost of works, building and other construction being carried out by establishments draws one percent of Cess amount to Labour department, which the department has not been able to mop due to lack of manpower.
“Although the department has Rs 300-400 Crore collection of Cess amount but there are still loopholes in these collections as there is lack of staff,” Kumar said.
Kashmir division currently has 30-40 vacancies in the Labour department and authorities have paid no heed in filling up the vacancies, resulting operations are not being assessed correctly.
“Every district has one labour inspector which is insufficient as per the requirement. However, Srinagar district has four labour inspectors,” Kumar said.
Labour department currently is in need of Labour inspectors, Labour officers, clerical staff and senior & junior assistants, Kumar added.
Assessment of the operations in private establishments goes unchecked owing to dearth of staff.
“Private establishments resort to underestimation of business strength in order to avoid labour laws, which is proving to be violation of these laws as the department has less manpower” Kumar added.
The Child Labour, which is a growing menace, has to be addressed, Kumar said, adding, this unlawful practice usually goes unnoticed as there is no official to pay attention to curb this challenge.
However, the department has disbursed Rs 5-6 Crore as compensation under Workman Employees Act.
“Recently 12 labourers, who died during military snow evacuation operations, were provided Rs 12.5 lakhs by the Labour department,” Kumar said.