Kumaraswamy warns Karnataka govt against any hasty amendment to labour laws

South India

The warning came amidst reports that the Karnataka government was mulling relaxing some key labour laws in line with those brought in other BJP ruled states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.


Former Karnataka chief minister and Janata Dal (S) leader H D Kumaraswamy has warned Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa against any hasty move to amend labour laws and APMC Act through ordinance.

The warning came in the wake of reports that the Bharatiya Janata Party government was planning to adopt a UP model suspension of labour laws in order to boost industrial development in the state. The Uttar Pradesh government had last week cleared an ordinance that suspends almost all labour laws in the state for three years, including those that guarantee minimum wage, equal remuneration for women and men, fair practices of hiring and firing, and worker safety and sanitation.

The reports gained strength after the government smoked out Labour secretary Manivarnnan P, who has been pleading the cause of labourers.  

The former Chief Minister questioned the urgency to bring forward such ordinances on important subjects and asked the government to have a public debate on it and also discuss it in the assembly.

"I'm warning the government... I have been watching everything silently till now, I have not caused any embarrassment to the government. I want to tell government, don't push us to do it," Kumaraswamy was quoted by News Minutes as saying.

Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, he said the party has supported the government in its fight against COVID-19 and not criticised it, despite mistakes.

He reminded Yediyurappa that he has become Chief Minister to protect the people's interests and asked him not to budge under pressure from the central government or to please the Prime Minister or someone else.

Alleging that the government planned to bring in modifications in the APMC Act, Kumaraswamy said the Cooperative Minister himself had said that the decision to dilute APMC’s powers will result in losses of no less than Rs 600 crore to the exchequer and that the state will have to abide by it as it was the decision taken by the Centre.

"This amendment will end Agricultural Produce Market Committees and help big private companies. There will be no protection to farmers," he said.

The former Chief Minister said he would write to the Governor to use his discretionary powers before approving such ordinances, after a thorough scrutiny (with inputs from News Minute)

Image Credit: The Hindu

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