Maadhyam is an initiative to capture inputs from interested stakeholders and use them for policy making with the aid of technology. The vision is to make policy making a more participatory process. To this end Maadhyam will establish a digital platform acting as a bridge between policy stakeholders and enabling flow of communication and feedback. Right now in its concept stage, Maadhyam will launch a series of experiments to gauge the interest of people to engage in policy making.
Few Bills have been identified which are most likely to be discussed in Parliament in the coming session. These Bills will be summarily analyzed and inputs will be invited from interested stakeholders. These inputs will be collated and circulated to MPs who have shown an interest in being a part of this initiative. It is hoped that these inputs will improve and add to the policy making process.
The first Bill to be taken up in this series was the Mental Healthcare Bill, 2016.
The second Bill to be taken up in this series is the Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
Maadhyam is founded by Maansi Verma, a law graduate from Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi, a Young India Fellow and a LAMP Fellow.
About the Bill
The Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has already been passed by Lok Sabha in August 2016 and is likely to be taken up by Rajya Sabha is the upcoming Winter Session. In 2014, the Government had come out with a comprehensive Factories (Amendment) Bill with a number of amendments. The Bill was referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee which raised severe objections to some of the provisions of the Bill. As that Bill could take time, the Government came out with this Bill amending just two sections of the Factories Act, 1948.
The Bill empowers the Central and State governments to increase the overtime work limits from 50 to 100 hours in a quarter. To enable the factories to deal with an “exceptional press of work”, this can be further increased to 115 hours in a quarter. In “public interest”, the limit can even be taken up to 125 hours in a quarter. The objective as stated in the Bill is to “to boost the manufacturing sector and to facilitate ease of doing business so as to enhance employment opportunities”.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee while reviewing the earlier Bill had objected to this amendment on the ground that contrary to the stated objective, it will negatively affect employment generation. Besides, in the present scenario, when industrial production has slowed down, loans to industrial sector have contracted and exports have declined, it is not clear how manufacturing sector will get a boost by increasing the overtime limits.