Sharing details of amendments to Apprenticeship Act with journalists in Ranchi, Union Minister for Steel, Mines, Labour & Employment Narendra Singh Tomar said number of apprentices required as a result of the amendments in the next couple of years would increase from present 3 lakh to 23 lakh. The processes for bringing amendments to the Factory Act and other labour laws has also been started to improve ease of doing business in India and to generate more employment, he added.
The minister was in the town to inaugurate a heat-hardening pelletisation unit at the Steel Authority of India Limited Research & Development Centre for Iron & Steel (SAIL-RDCIS), Ranchi. Union Minister of State for Steel, Mines, Labour & Employment Vishnu Deo Sai was present on the occasion.
This unit shall facilitate in resolving the problems being faced by Indian steel industry for beneficiation of iron ore. SAIL can now develop relevant technology parameters for producing heat hardened pellets from geothite and haematite iron ores.Different units of biological waste water treatment plant for coke oven effluent treatment were also inaugurated on the occasion. It will help SAIL and Indian steel industry to conform to the stringent norms of environment.
While addressing the SAIL collective, Tomar said, “Steel industry is the core industry that reflects the technological status of the country and for a self-reliant India, The prime minister’s vision of “Make in India – Made in India” needs to be internalised by the erudite researchers and technologists of SAIL and steel sector.”
While elaborating the steps that have been taken for labour welfare, the minister said, “For ensuring efficient functioning of ESI hospitals, state level committees are being constituted. A person earning Rs 15,000 or below per month can now avail ESI facility, which was earlier at a level of Rs 6,500 per month. Central Government has taken steps to provide minimum pension at Rs 1,000 per month. State Government can take their own initiatives in building ESI hospitals and the Central Government shall provide financial aid for such hospitals. Union Government is also taking steps to ensure that the quality of medicines supplied in the ESI hospitals is the best.”
In response to further queries, Tomar informed, “Recently the Government has recommended an increase in welfare cess for the benefit of bidi workers from Rs 5 per thousand bidis manufactured to Rs 8 per thousand.”
Press Information Bureau