Gangtok: The Sikkim Legislative Assembly on Tuesday passed the Sikkim Labour Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service Bill, 2021, paving the way for a system of service providers in place of the erstwhile labour contractor system.

Sikkim labour minister MN Sherpa said the Bill was passed “to bring transparency in manpower management in the state and to facilitate employment of local people in the private sector”.

Replying to a question by legislator DT Lepcha during the Budget session of the assembly on Tuesday regarding registration of labourers and skilled workers, the minister said: “ID cards will be issued to each worker which will be valid for a year. Renewal of these ID cards will be subject to re-verification of credentials.”

Meanwhile, chief minister Prem Singh Golay, while participating in the discussion on the Bill, said: “Lack of data on labourers and other skilled workers in the state has led to petty crimes and other such activities. This Bill has been drafted with the intension to keep tabs on every individual labourer working in any part of Sikkim.”

The Bill, once passed by the House, will be immediately made into an Act for early implementation, said Golay.

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The state government has deemed it necessary to have a comprehensive database by making it legally mandatory for registration of the entire spectrum of workforce, intermediaries or service providers or sub-service providers, owners, employers and establishments to enable the various programme implementing agencies to effectively execute the existing welfare schemes, the CM said.

The move will also help to capacitate the state government to formulate informed policies and programmes for improving the working and living conditions of labourers and also to protect them from exploitation by their employers. Golay said.

Speaking on the issue of the recent recruitment of porters, the CM informed the House, “The Army had advertised for 600 posts, of which 400 eligible people from Sikkim were recruited. Since it concerned the Indian Army, there is no criteria to ensure that only Sikkimese people can be recruited.”

While encouraging the Sikkimese youth to come forward and avail of the opportunities, Golay said that the recruitment is for a period of six months, but the nature of work is challenging considering the high altitude and difficult terrains.

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