2nd Five Year Plan
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Chapter 27:


The first five year plan was drawn up in the context of a growing consciousness of the importance of industrial labour in the national economy. With the advent of Independence, certain assurances were given to a labour in recognition of its rights which had long been neglected. An attempt was made in the first plan to give concrete shape to these assurances and to give labour a fair deal consistent with the requirements of other sectors of the economy.

2. Judged by improvements recorded in industrial relations for which both employers and workers can take credit, the success of joint consultation at various levels and increase in real earnings of workers over the last five years, the plan in the labour field should be considered to have recorded progress. The desire shown by employers and workers to come together and settle their problems in industrial committees setup by Government has of late become a welcome feature of labour relations. In fact much of the legislation in the last five years has been agreed to, in its broad outline, by the parties concerned in tripartite committees. Though questions like bonus and profit sharing still require a satisfactory solution, recent agreements at some centres mark an encouraging advance. Progress has also been made in the implementation of the social security measures provided under the Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948, and the Employees' Provident Funds Act, 1952. A further measure of security in case of loss of employment has been provided in the shape of the Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Act, 1953. Simultaneously, Industrial Tribunals are taking due note of the need for security in framing awards on issues like provident fund, gratuity, etc. The importance of better working conditions has also been progressively recognised. In order to study systematically the problems of production in relation to health and safety of workers, a Central Labour Institute has been planned and productivity studies in certain industries have been promoted. State Governments have opened welfare centres and the last five years have seen an intensification of efforts at imporved housing for industrial workers. Though admittedly much remains to be done, especially in matters like covering the distance between the existing wage and 'fair-wage' and in industrial housing, progress can only be gradual. With the implementation of the Plantation Labour Act, some improvement will be recorded in the conditions of plantation labour.

3. Much of what has been said in regard to labour policy in the first five year plan holds good as a basis for the future. However, in the light of the socialist pattern of society, within which setting the second five year plan has been framed, suitable alterations in labour policy require to be made. A socialist society is built up not solely on monetary incentives, but on ideas of service to society and the willingness on the part of the latter to recognise such service. It is necessary in this context that the worker should be made to feel that in his own way he is helping to build a progressive State. The creation of industrial democracy, therefore, is a pre-requisite for the establishment of a socialist society.

4. Expansion of the public sector envisages an. incresingly greater responsibility for workers as well as management in that sector. Also, if conditions of work in public undertakings are expected to set the pace for the private sector, administrators handling such undertakings have to be specially watchful of labour interests. Whether it is the public sector or the private sector the goal of progressively speeding up production would mean that indiscipline, stoppage of production and indifferent quality of work will have to be guarded against, and the labour policy has to be directed towards this end. Since such a policy must have the support of not only important employers' and workers' interests, but also of the public, the Planning Commission constituted a representative Panel on Labour and sought its advice in the matter. The recommendations made in the second five year plan have emerged in the main from agreement among members of the Panel.

Trade Unions

5. A strong trade union movement is necessary both for safeguarding the interests of labour and for realising the targets of production. Multiplicity of trade unions, political rivalries, lack of resources and disunity in the ranks of workers are some of the major weaknesses in a number of existing unions. It is often suggested that dependence of unions on outsiders as their executives is one of the many causes of unhealthy rivalries in the labour movement. While this suggestion is not entirely without foundation, it must be recognised that outsiders have played a notable part in building up the trade union movement in the country. But for their association, the movement would not have reached even its present dimensions and strength. A distinction needs to be drawn here between outsiders who are whole-time trade union workers and those who look upon union work only as a part of their other activities. There is still need for devoted workers of the first kind in the trade union organisations and the right of trade Mmions to elept such persons to their executives, if they so choose, should not be interfered with. Even so, the unions need to realise that undue dependence on any one not belonging to the ranks of industrial workers must necessarily affect the capacity of workers to organise themselves. It is interesting to note, however, that recently the number of outsiders managing the trade unions has shown a decline. This trend deserves to be encouraged.

6. Reduction in the number of outsiders as office bearers of trade unions is likely to create a gap in the field of executive personnel for trade union organisation. Training of workers in trade union philosophy and methods becomes necessary if the workers are to become self-reliant in this respect The programmes under labour welfare include a stipendiary scheme for this purpose.

7. Another step in building up strong unions is to grant them recognition as representative unions under certain conditions. In some States, the industrial relations code provides for recognition when a union's claim of sufficient paying membership is expressed as a percentage of union members to the total number of workers the union claims to represent. The percentage entitling recognition may differ from State to State according to the stage of development of the trade union organisation. Since recognition has played a notable part in strengthening the movement in some States, it is suggested that some statutory provision^ for securing recognition of unions should be made by States, where such provision does not exist at present In doing so the importance of one union for an industry in a local area requires to be kept in view. It is equally important that while mere numbers would secure recognition to a union, it should, for functioning effectively, exhaust the accepted procedure and the machinery for the settlement of disputes before it has recourse to direct action.

8. Improving the finances of trade unions from their internal resources is another important aspect of strengthening the movement. In their desire to build up membership of as large a magnitude as possible, unions fix their membership fees at extremely low rates and fail to collect even these. Regular payment of union dues on the part of workers, and termination of membership by unions of those falling in arrears of dues are both uncommon. It is felt that a membership fee of at least four annas a month be prescribed in the rules of a trade union as a condition precedent if it desires registration as a recognised union. It is equally necessary that there should be stricter enforcement of rules regarding payment of arrears.

Employers' Organisations

9. In the interests of industry-wide bargaining in an area, provision should be made for the certification of employers' associations as representatives of industry in an area. Any agreement entered into by such associations would then be binding on all members of the associations as well as on non-members.

Industrial Relations

10. For the development of an undertaking or an industry, industrial peace is indispensable. Obviously this can best be achieved by the parties themselves. Labour legislation and the enforcement machinery set up for its implementation can only provide a suitable framework in which employers and workers can function. The best solution to common problems, however, can be found by mutual agreement. Recently there have been some healthy developments in this direction, and agreements have been reached on a number of seriously disputed issues. An agreement was signed in June, 1955 between the Ahmedabad Mill Owners' Association and the Textile Labour Association regarding the question of bonus. The two associations have also decided that all their future disputes should be settled by mutual negotiations and discussion and without recourse to strikes or to courts. Voluntary arbitration has also been provided for as a last resort in case the parties fail to settle their differences. A bonus agreement was signed early in 1956 by the Bombay Mill Owners' Association and the Rashtriya Mill Mazdoor Sangh, Bombay. An important agreement was also reached between the Tata Iron and Steel Co. Ltd., Jamshedpur and the union representing their workers. This agreement is noteworthy for several reasons. For instance, for the first time in such an agreement, there are provisions for union security and workers' co-operation in measures for higher productivity, for modernisation and expansion, and for acceptance of schemes for job evaluation. The employers have also recognised the desirability of an increasing measure of association of employees in the management of the industry. These agreements by themselves cover only a small section of the total industrial labour in the country, but their influence in paving the way for better industrial relations in the country cannot be underestimated. '

11. In an industrial civilization work stopples receive an undue share of publicity, magnifying the popular impression of industrial unrest To counteract the results of such publicity it is necessary to undertake studies in factors which have made for industrial harmony in establishments with a long tradition of peaceful working. In this connection studies are in progress in some establishments in the country. While these -studies should publicize the constructive aspects of labour relations, it is also necessary to supplement them by studies in areas where^there are frequent industrial disputes in order to present the contrasting situations from which parties can draw their own inferences.

12. The importance of preventive measures for achieving industrial peace needs to be stressed. Greater emphasis should be placed on avoidance of disputes at all levels, including the last stage of mutual negotiations, namely conciliation. In countries where the conciliation machinery has worked more successfully than in India, efforts are made by the conciliator to keep in touch with trade union leaders and employers even when there are no disputes, and to discuss matters which are likely to cause conflict in future. Such discussions have considerable value in avoiding disputes and should be introduced in this country.

13. Once disputes ai-ise, recourse should be had to mutual negotiations and to voluntary arbitration. The machinery for facilitating these stages should be built up by the Central and the State Governments. Government should maintain lists of persons in whom employers and workers have confidence. In case of need the parties should be encouraged to select by mutual consent names of persons from such lists who could act as arbitrators. However, in intractable cases, where these methods fail, recourse to Government intervention would be unavoidable. The machinery for settlement of disputes, as obtaining in 1950, was too cumbersome. The proposed amendment of the Industrial Disputes Act aiming at (a) simplifying the procedure for adjudication. (b) abolishing the Labour Appellate Tribunal, and (c) removing difficulties experienced by parties in administering Section 33 of the Industrial Disputes Act, consistent with the production of the legitimate interests of workers, is a step in the right direction.

14. One of the sources of friction between labour and management is inadequate implementation and enforcement of awards and agreements. In some cases the awards have not been implemented even in the face of Government's insistence on their implementation. There is no provision for enforcing compliance with the directions contained in awards, other than those involving financial recoveries, such as reinstatement of an employee or the provision of an amenity. The only remedy against the employer in such cases is to prosecute him under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, but this remedy is ineffective as the maximum punishment is only Rs. 200/- for a first offence and Rs. 500 for subsequent ones. Experience has shown that this is not a sufficient sanction for employers to carry out directives which might involve large expenditures. It is necessary, therefore, that the penalties should be sufficiently deterrent. Penalties for workers in case of deliberate violation should also be of a deterrent nature.

15. While the responsibility for implementation should be mainly on the employer (public or private), an appropriate tribunal should be constituted for enforcing compliance. It should be possible for the parties to have direct approach to this tribunal. The tribunal should also be empowered to interpret the scope and meaning of the directives contained in awards. In respect of findings which are not enforceable in financial terms the tribunal should have the power to require Government or some designated executive authority to secure specific performance within a given period.

16. A standing joint consultative machinery, could effectively reduce the extent of industrial unrest. It is necessary to have such machinery at all levels, at the Centre, m States and in individual units. Cooperation between labour and management becomes more effective if there is a two-way traffic between the bipartite consultative machinery at the top and the machinery performing similar functions at the unit level. Works committees could function in the units in this capacity. These committees should, in addition to giving effect to agreements reached at higher levels, pose practical problems in working out such agreements, so that these can be settled through the consultative machinery suggested earlier. Experience has shown that a major hindrance in the way of effective functioning of works committees is the lack of a clear-cut demarcation between their responsibilities, and the responsibilities of trade unions operating in the field. The representative union should have the sole right of taking up with management matters or disputes in connection with wages, allowances and other terms and conditions of service or matters which are appropriate for mutual discussions. Questions relating to the technical and human problems of an enterprise and the best and most equitable means of achieving objectives of common interest to the undertaking could perhaps be more effectively handled by works committees. This might make for better working of both. In the case of larger units it might be necessary to have similar arrangements at the shop level. If the parties agree, works committees could also be entrusted with the responsibility of proper application, interpretation and supervision of collective agreements or awards and of standing orders. However, it should be open to a union in appropriate cases to demand at any stage of the discussion in the works committees that a particular matter should be remitted for settlement between the union and the employer.

17. The existing bipartite joint consultative machinery, namely, the Joint consultative Board could be more effectively utilised. The Board has already achieved a limited measure of success. Though its specific achievements have not been spectacular, it has produced a climate in support of the system of mutual consultation and negotiations. Its utility and importance will in future rest largely upon its ability to solve contentious matters through mutual discussions. The Board proposes to intensify its activities by getting important problems studied, meeting more frequently and discussing problems with the intention of arriving at settlements ia the spirit of give and take. It is hoped that this would pave the way for fruitful co-operation at all levels.

18. For the successful implementation of the plan increased association of labour with management is necessary. Such a measure would help in (a) promoting increased productivity for the general benefit of the enterprise, the employees and the community, (b) giving employees a better understanding of their role in the working of industry and of the process of production and (c) satisfying the worker's urge for self expression, thus leading to industrial peace, better relations and increased co-operation. This could be achieved by providing for councils of management consisting of representatives of management, technicians and workers. It should be the responsibility of the management to supply such a council of management fair and correct statement of all relevant information which would enable the council to function effectively. A council of management should be entitled to discuss various matters pertaining to the establishment and to recommend steps for its better working. Matters which fall within the purview of collective bargaining should, however, be excluded from the scope of discussion in the council. To begin with the proposal should be tried out in large establishments in organised industries. The pace of advance should be regulated and any extension of the scheme should be in the light of the experience gained.

19. In view of the fact that the public sector will grow in future, the manner of administration of industrial relations in public enterprises is of great importance for the success of the undertaking and for the fulfilment of the aspirations of labour. Any attempt, therefore- on the part of public employer to avoid the responsibility of an employer on the ground that he is not working for profit has to be discouraged. Managements of public undertakings should not normally seek exemptions from labour laws or ask for other concessions not available to the private sector. This is not to suggest that public undertakings, as a rule, come forward to seek exemptions from laws relating to labour or to imply that working conditions there arc not satisfactory. In fact in almost all the new State enterprises considerable attention has been paid to labour welfare in the comprehensive sense. In the last analysis employees in the public sector should on the whole be at least on par with their counterparts in private employment and should feel a legitimate pride in what they produce and in their position as employees in the public sector.


20. The socialist pattern of society proposed requires that a worker's claims to improve his economic and social status be recognised. In their turn, workers too have to realise their responsibilities. Hard and efficient work on the one hand, and avoidance of indiscipline on the other, will be needed for achieving the goal which the community desires to reach. It is possible that there may sometimes be valid reasons behind cases of indiscipline among workers. To a large extent steps suggested earlier will reduce the area of such friction between labour and management While the observance of stricter discipline, both on the part of labour and management, is a matter which cannot be imposed by legislation—it has to be achieved by organisations of employers and workers by evolving suitable sanctions of their own—some steps, legislative or otherwise, in case of rank indiscipline require to be thought of. It is true that in recent years loss in production due tc industrial strikes has been reduced to some extent But it is equally true that the existing provisions for penalising illegal strikes or lockouts have not proved adequate in practice. There have been instance of 'go-slow', 'pen-down* and 'stay-in-strikes', which in the larger interests of the economy, should not go unnoticed. Such situations are serious both from the employers' and workers' point of view. The employer loses production, but what is more significant, since capacity to work is workers' only asset, any tendency to reduce that capacity must be guarded against by ths. working class. Complaints of violence and indiscipline have also grown recently in some industries. It is necessary that the whole issue of industrial discipline in its various aspects should be examined and in the meantime, in their mutual interest, the parties should see that tendencies to indiscipline are sternly discountenanced.


21. A wage policy which aims at a structure with rising real wages requires 1o be evolved. Workers' right to a fair wage has been recognised but in practice it has been found difficult to quantify it. In spite of their best efforts, industrial tribunals have been unable to evolve a consistent formula. A major difficulty experienced in the fuller implementation of the principle of fair wage is the 'drag' exercised by marginal units in determining the wage structure. While the financial position of average units in a centre requires to be made the basis of wage fixation, if progress towards fair wages is to be accelerated, the conflicting considerations of closure of marginal units and its effect on unemployment also become pertinent in the context of planning. This means that steps require to be taken to improve the working of marginal units. One way of making such units more viable is their amalgamation into larger units, voluntarily if possible, compulsorily if need be, consistent with the requirements of a decentralised • economy. Data on the functioning of marginal units are lacking. Extensive surveys requite to be undertaken before it can be determined whether a unit falls in the marginal category or not Even after the marginal character of a unit is established, there will be difficulties in the process of amalgamation, but these will have to be tackled as they arise.

21 Improvement in wages can result mainly from increased productivity. Increase in productivity does not necessarily involve installation of new machinery or greater exertion on the part of labour. Steps like better lay-out of plants, improvement in working conditions and training of workers could ensure increase in output without correspondingly increasing the strain on workers, and in some cases lead to increased output with reduced strain. Another step in this direction would be the introduction of payment by results in areas where at present this principle does not apply. This approach should be follewed, subject to adequate safeguards for workers, the main guarantees being a minimum (fall back) wage and protection against fatigue and undue speed up. Earnings beyond the minimum wage shoud be necessarily related to results. Workers should be consulted before a system of payment by results is introduced in an establishment. Studies should be undertaken to see whether there is any scope for wage increases even at the present level of productivity especially when it is claimed that industrial production has gone up almost without any increase in the level of industrial employment.

23. There are two more aspects of wage policy which require to be examined further. The first concerns the laying down of principles to bring wages into conformity with the expectations of the working class in the future pattern of society; the second, the settlement of wage disputes' in the interim period. In regard to the former, a view has been expressed that a wage commission should be appointed in order to examine the relevant material and to lay down principles for defining the respective roles of wages, profits and prices, taking into account the declared social objective of the community. It has to be recognised, however, that a commission of the type suggested, if appointed forthwith, will be considerably handicapped for want of data and any conclusions that it might reach on insufficient facts will not provide a suitable basis for a long-term policy. Urgent steps are therefore, needed to undertake a wage census.

24. The existing wage structure in the country comprises, in the main, a basic wage and a deamess allowance, ^he latter component in a majority of cases has relation to cost of living indices at different industrial centres. These indices have not been built up on a uniforms basis; some of them are worked out on primary data collected about 20 to 25 years ago and are therefore not a true reflection of the present spending habits of workers. Since one, of the questions which the wage commission will have to take into account i" the demand made by workers' organisations for merging a part of the deamess allowance with the basic wage, evolving recommendations for such a merger will not be sufficiently scientific if cost of living indices at different centres do not have a uniform basis. Steps will therefore, have to be taken simultaneously with the undertaking of a wage census, to institute enquiries for the revision of the present series of cost of living indices at different centres.

25. Statistics of industrial disputes show that wages and allied matters are the major source of friction between employers and workers. The existing machinery for the settlement of disputes, namely the Industrial Tribunals, has not given full satisfaction to the parties concerned. A more acceptable machinery for the settling wage disputes will be one which gives the parties themselves a more responsible role in reaching decisions. An authority like a tripartite wage board, consisting of equal representatives of employers and workers and an independent chairman will probably ensure more acceptable decisions. Such wage boards should be instituted for individual industries in different areas.

26. Principles relating to the settlement of bonus and profit sharing require further study before an arrangement acceptable to all the parties could be evolved. In the meanwhile the present arrangement for the settlement of such disputes through the existing industrial relations machinery should continue.

Social Security

27. The Employees' Provident Funds Scheme which was instituted on a statutory basis during the first five year plan, should be extended to cover industries and commercial establishments having 10,000 workers or more in the country as a whole. Enhancement of the rate of contribution from 6V4 per cent to 8% per cent should be further studied. It needs to be examined whether the present provident fund contributions could be converted so as to form a basis for a suitable pension scheme. A proposal regarding the provision of medical benefits to worker's families under the Employees' State Insurance Scheme is under consideration. Extension of the coverage of the scheme is also contemplated. The possibility of combining the different social security provisions at present in force into an overall social security scheme is being explored. A unified scheme will have the advantage of reducing overhead costs and from the savings so effected it may provide a more diversified set of benefits. Decentralisation of the administration of such a unified scheme would prove advantageous to its beneficiaries. Wherever feasible, workers disabled by industrial accidents should be provided with alternative employment.


28. The first five year plan mentioned a number of principles evolved as a result of agreement between the representatives of employers and workers for facilitating the progress of rationalisation. In all cases of rationalisation these principles should be strictly adhered to and should be applied in the spirit in which they were arrived at It is necessary to emphasise this point since it has been found that in discussions on rationalisation both employers and workers some-rimes overlook the principles mentioned above. The attention of industrial tribunals may be drawn to the need for giving due weight to these agreed arrangements in framing their awards. In case principles agreed upon between the parties are not taken due notice of, the question of embodying them in a statute could be considered. In the context of growing unemployment, rationalisation has an adverse psychological effect on workers. Even so, to freeze the existing techniques of production is not in the larger interests of a developing economy. Rationalisation should, therefore, be attempted when it does not lead to unemployment, is introduced in consultation with workers, and is effected after improving working conditions and guaranteeing a substantial share of gains to workers.

29. Apart from the formulation of a broad policy on rationalisation, which must no doubt be based on a mutually agreed arrangement between the parties concerned, difficulties in the settlement of disputes on rationalisation have arisen mainly on account of disagreement over details. The loss of production which came about in the recent Kanpur Textile dispute on this issue is an example in point. While the principle of rationalisation is accepted, difficulties in reaching agreements over details arise at the unit level regarding, inter alia, (a) apportionment of work load, (b) extent to which wages are to be increased in the event of increased work load, (c) extent of machinery which is obsolete and requires to be replaced, (d) enforcement of stricter standards of control over the installation of new machines, and (e) retraining of retrenched workers and finding alternative jobs for them. These difficulties can be best settled by the parties after technical examination by independent experts. There will, however, remain some special problems attendant on schemes of rationalisation which may have repercussions over more than one State. For dealing with them it is necessary to have a high power authority appointed by the Central Government

30. Legislation should be undertaken to regulate working conditions in construction industry and transport services. As to shops and commercial establishments, most States have their own legislation. Working conditions of such employees in other States should be regulated.

31. A welfare firnd similar to the Coal and Mica Mines Welfare Funds should be instituted for the manganese industry. Where a fund is to be instituted on the basis of a welfare cess, such a cess'should be levied by the Central Government, unless the industry is located altogether within the borders of one State, in which case the State Government can take such action as may be needed. Wherever feasible unified administration of such funds is necessary in the interest of economy and for providing better welfare amenities. The provision of welfare facilities is the responsibility of an individual employer and as far as possible these activities should be run with the assistance of local committees on which workers are represented. In the case of small establishments facilities may be provided jointly. The establishment of an adequate number of welfare centres is necessary, so is the provision of adequate arrangements for the training of welfare 'personnel of different levels. Arrangements for this purpose have been made in the plans of State Governments.

32. There are certain groups of workers who nee'd separate treatment because of problems peculiar to them. Three such major groups are contract labour, agricultural labour, and women workers. None of them has received'adequate attention so far. In order to provide for these groups, the relief they deserve, it is necessary to adopt measures mentioned below.

Contract Labour

33. In the case of contract labour the major problems relate to the regulation of their working conditions and ensuring them continuous employment. For this purpose it is necessary to:—

  1. undertake studies to ascertain the extent and the nature of the problem involved in different industries;
  2. examine where contract labour could be progressively eliminated. This should be undertaken straightway;
  3. determine cases where responsibility for payment of wages, ensuring proper conditions of work, etc. could be placed on the principal employer in addition to the contractor;
  4. secure gradual abolition of the contract system where the studies show this to be feasible, care being taken to ensure that the displaced labour is provided with alternative employment;
  5. secure for contract labour the conditions and protection enjoyed by other workers engaged by the principal employer; and
  6. set -up a scheme of decasualisation, wherever feasible
Agricultural Labour

34. The problems of agricultural labour have been treated in the chapter on Agricultural Workers. As explained there, this group will demand special and urgent attention in any scheme designed to improve the living standards of the people. During the first five year plan attempts were made to ensure a minimum standard of living to agricultural labour by fixing minimum wages under the Minimum Wages Act. Though some progress has been achieved in this respect, the implementation of the AcLhas brought to lightsome important limitations. Merely prescribing a flat rate for agricultural labour is impracticable and ineffective. Agricultural conditions differ from region to region; a level of minimum wage suitable for one region may be entirely inapplicable in another. The mere task of determining the required minima is thus immense.

35. So far wage fixation for agricultural labour has been attempted on an ad hoc basis for want of adequate data which require to be collected at regular' intervals. There is a risk of wasting the valuable work done by the Agricultural Labour Enquiry, if steps are not taken to develop suitable consumer price indices for rural areas. The scheme included in the first five year plan for this purpose has not made sufficient progress and requires to be vigorously pursued. The task of minimum wage fixation is admittedly immense, more so is the task of revising these wages periodically as contemplated by the Act.

36. There is also the problem of effective enforcement of minimum wages once they are fix ed. Because of lack of organisation and the prevailing economic conditions agricultural labour itself can exercise comparatively little pressure in enforcing the wages fixed.' Reliance therefore, has to be placed on inspection machinery and the cost of such machinery becomes almost prohibitive.

37. Assuring a minimum wage to the agricultural labour thus is no easy task. While there should be no relaxation of the efforts now being made by various States in the fixation of minimum wages and intensified measures in this respect require to be vigorously pursued, it has to be admitted, that all these steps can show only limited results. The Agricultural Labour Enquiry has revealed the large problem of unemployment "and poverty among this section of the population. The low level of living is due not so much to a low wage, as to lack of sufficient employment opportunities. Considering the small size of holdings and the level of agricultural production wages cannot be raised substantially. The main effort has, therefore, to be in the direction of providing greater employ-merit opportunities.

Women Workers

38. Special attention has to be paid to women workers because of problems peculiar to them. Comparatively speaking they are much less organised. They also suffer from certain social prejudices and physical disabilities. That women are comparatively less suited for heavy work and are more vulnerable to situations in industry which produce fatigue are used as arguments to justify views which are often held in support of lower wages for them. They are either given lower jobs or the jobs they handle traditionally become women's jobs and carry lower salaries. The fact that simply because women's abilities are different does not necessarily mean that they constitute a lower class of workers, is overlooked.

39. The special cares and duties which fall to women necessarily place them under some handicap as industrial workers. Special provisions for protecting them are, therefore, made in various statutes, but their effective implementation is essential. In particular, women should be protected against injurious work, should receive maternity benefits, and work places should provide creche facilities for children. Nursing mothers should be entitled to paid rest intervals for feeding infants. The principle of equal pay for equal work needs to be more vigorously implemented and the tendency to scale down the jobs traditionally handled by women has to be guarded against. Training facilities should be provided for them so that they can compete for higher jobs. In addition, the possibility of increasing opportunities for their part-time employment should be explored.

Development Programmes

40. The provision for development programmes under 'Labour crores—Rs. 18 crores at the Centre and Rs. 11 crores in the plans and Labour Welfare' in the second five year plan amounts to Rs. 29 of States. The main programmes are explained below:

(1) Training of craftsmen.—It is proposed to expand training facilities so as to provide 19,700 new seats in addition to 10,300 seats at present available. It is also proposed to increase the period of training and, in general, to improve its quality. The scheme will be implemented by State Governments in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and a national council for vocational training which is expected to be set up shortly.

(2) Apprenticeship scheme for the training of skilled crafstmen.—'Wtth the exception of Government esta* blishments and few private plants, there is no well-organised apprenticeship training programme for industrial workers. Under the scheme drawn up for the second plan 450 apprentices will be placed in factories in the first year of the plan, the number being gradually increased to 5,000 in the final year. The duration of the course may vary from two to five years according to trade and skill required.

(3) Training of instructors.—To meet the existing shortage of competent instructors a new training institute similar to the institute at Koni in Madhya Pradesh is proposed to be set up. It is also intended to move the existing centre to a suitable industrial area and to attach to it a training centre for craftsmen. The two institutions will train instructors and supervisory staff and will also provide refresher courses for instructors, supervisors and foremen.

(4) Expansion of the Employment Service Organisation.—Dunng the second five year plan 120 new employment exchanges are to be opened bringing the present number of 136 to 256 at the end of the plan period. Besides the organisation also intends to expand the scope of its activities. Proposals in this respect relate to:—

  1. collection of employment market information on a more extensive basis for use in manpower planning,
  2. establishment of a youth employment service to deal with young persons as a special group of employment seekers. Briefly, the functions of the proposed, service will be to give expert advice to young persons on problems relating to employment and training;
  3. employment counselling at Employment Exchanges. The main object will.be to provide guidance and information to employment seekers about careers and occupations. their own occupational capacities, and the labour market.
  4. occupational research and analysis. It is proposed to organise and develop a systematic programme of research with a view to standardising definitions of skills required for different trades and to build up a comprehensive occupational dictionary. During the plan period studies are to be completed in five major industries.
  5. occupational testing at exchanges. The scheme envisages the introduction of a programme of proficiency or trade testing at Employment Exchanges in collaboration with industry.

(5) Expansion of Central Labour Institute.—Two Sections are to be added to the Central Labour Institute, one on Industrial Psychology and the other on Industrial/Occupational Physiology to conduct studies and research on subjects such as vocational guidance, workers' morale and attitudes, and on the physiological reactions of workers to factors such as heat, noise, lighting, etc. Continuation of the work on productivity studies and supervisory training will form another activity of this Institute. Regional museums of industrial safety, health and welfare are to be set up for Northern, Eastern and Southern regions. These museums will be part of a co-ordinated plan for education in safety, health and welfare to meet the specialised needs of industrial areas with the Museum at Bombay, with the Central Labour Institute serving as the focal point of a planned programme.

(6) Setting up of a Film Unit—The need for workers' education is accepted on all hands. With low literacy among the working population, the most effective method of education and propaganda is by means of audio visual material. In fact, for the last few years many of the Factory Welfare Departments and State Labour Welfare centres have been organising film shows, but on account of the lack of suitable Indian films relating to labour matters, use is being made of films produced by Foreign Information Services. Most of these films have no bearing on conditions prevailing in this country. The need for suitable training and educative films to meet our special requirements cannot, therefore, be over-emphasized. It is, therefore, proposed to set up a small Film Unit for producing during the plan period about 100 films on various subjects covering labour and allied problems such as safety, health and welfare, supervisory training, productivity studies, vocational training and Employees' State Insurance Scheme.

(7) Employees' State Insurance Scheme and Provident Fund Scheme.—The two schemes are to be implemented as explained in paragraph 27.

(8) Housing.—The plan provides substantial amounts for housing industrial workers and persons in middle and low income groups. For industrial housing Rs. 50 crores are provided. There is a separate provision for the housing of plantation and mine workers. Experience gained in the working of the subsidised industrial housing scheme during the first five year plan is being studied with a view to improvements. It has been observed that loans and subsidies permissible under this scheme have not evoked sufficient response from employers and from cooperative societies of workers.

(9) Other schemes.—In addition to the schemes set out above, there are proposals to give effect to the recommendations on questions like workers' education, training of welfare personnel, and the undertaking of new investigations. It is proposed to carry out the following enquiries during the next five years:

  1. an all-India agricultural labour enquiry.
  2. a comprehensive wage census.
  3. working class family budget enquiries at important industrial centres.

In order to ascertain how industry is progressing it is also proposed to undertake an enquiry which would lead to the compilation of productivity indices in selected industries. In their plans State Governments have also made provision for extending welfare facilities for workers. A welcome feature of the schemes drawn up by several States is that welfare centres are to be organised with the cooperation of workers' and employers' organisations. Government being required to contribute only a part of the expenditure.

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