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High Court fumes over slack implementation of labour laws
Shimla: Hauling up the state government for not linking minimum wages to price index, the High Court was today informed by officials that a proposal to increase minimum wages from Rs 110 to Rs 120 was under consideration.
Hearing two public interest litigations, a division bench consisting of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rajiv Sharma also took the government to task over slack implementation of labour laws and asked for ensuring implementation of 25 Central Acts and 2 State Acts.
The judges also asked the state to file an affidavit that going by the price index, when compared to the minimum wages fixed in and around northern states whether the proposed Rs. 120 was a fair or reasonable wage.
Taking into account that HP Building & Other Construction Workers Welfare Board had collected Rs 88.25 Cr cess for welfare measures of workers in one year, registered 499 new establishments and 2013 beneficiaries but having extended benefits to just 3 people with the total amount involved at Rs 2200/- only, the court asked the board secretary to file an affidavit under oath about how many meeting had been held, what the expenditure involved were related to salary, remuneration and travel expenses of the chairman and board members.
The court observed that state was not playing a proactive role in implementation of welfare schemes as was evident that of the lakhs of workers in the state only 2013 were registered as beneficiaries.
The court noted that labour officers had collected huge amounts but had failed to register labourers under the welfare schemes.
The court was informed that there were 12 labour officers and 26 labour inspectors in thes state. The board had one vehicle for the labour commissioner, one for the board chairman of welfare board and 2 vehicles stationed at the headquarters.
In all there were 4108 factories and 66,827 shops and commercial establishments registered in the state, the court was informed.
Anti corruption cell of Mandi caught a SDO of Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department (HPPWD) red handed while taking a bribe of Rs. 25000. SDO Manoj Kumar works with HPPWD Kullu and demanded hefty sum from contractor to clear his pending bills. The contractor approached anti corruption cell when Manoj Kumar contacted him from Mandi. After working closely with anti corruption bureau local Police was able to trap the SDO.
Its pertinent to mention that it is normal to pay the HPPWD authorities to clear bills unless and otherwise person is highly connected with the ruling party.
Everyone is surprised by the act of this small contractor as every contractor fears that if they approach Police for anti corruption activities then its hard to get future contract work from HPPWD. This contractor fears that out of total Rs. 5 Lakhs worth the works he completed from total allocation of Rs. 26 lakhs, might jeopardize due to his honest act.
Its quite amazing to note that HPPWD (http ://himachal.gov.in/Depts.htm) is one of the largest departments of Himachal and when HP govt. talks big on citizen government interface, this department does not even carry a website or email address where people can anonymously report their issues. Although its known fact that very few department officials in HP check their emails.
Time has come that every one join hands to fight corruption and work together to build a better Himachal. Recently Himachal CM, Virbhadra Singh assured everyone that government would take stern actions against corrupt officials and government would specifically work for major land reforms as Patwaris were warned by CM in election rally in Una.
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NAHAN: At a meeting of Sirmour Union of Journalists held here today, senior journalist of Renuka, Sanjeev Awasthi was unanimously elected new district President of the union.
In a resolution passed in the meeting journalists demanded that state government should come out with a complete media policy to give social, financial and professional security to the journalists working in the state. Several issues related with the welfare of journalists were discussed in the meeting.
Yoginder Kapila was elected to the vacant post of district advisor and Ramesh Paharia was made Joint secretary of the Union. Union has decided to launch its own website also.
Not being invited to Abhishek-Ashwariya wedding was a matter between friends and its is settled, is how Shatrugan Sinha dismissed the controversy where he is reported to have returned the sweets packet sent by Amitabh Bachchan after the ceremony. Evading media queries over the issue with a dialogue from one of his film dialogues Sinha said “Khamosh, band karo yeh nacch gana.”However, he maintained that Amitabh Bacchan was one of the finest persons in the film industry whom he held in high esteem.
Later talking to students of DAV school Lakkar Bazar, the actor turned politician derided his tribe by saying that today politics was not the last but first resort of the scoundrel. Praising the DAV institutions, Sinha said that it was a little known fact that these institutions have thrown up three prime ministers which include AB Vajpayee, IG Gujaral and Manmohan Singh. “Today it was a need for all politicians to recall lessons about honesty and discipline learnt at school” he said.