Industrial workers to get only cashless payments soon

Industrial workers to get only cashless payments soon

A Bill – Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill, 2016 – has been prepared which will be tabled after the Cabinet approves the measure that Industrial workers to get only cashless payments.
NEW DELHI: In a move that will impact salary payments to millions of factory and industrial workers, the government plans to make it mandatory for payments to be made only through cheque or directly into their bank accounts, against the current practice of paying cash.

The move — for which a Cabinet note has been circulated — is in line with demonetisation and also aimed at ensuring that workers are paid the minimum wages stipulated by the Centre and states, senior government sources told TOI.

The idea is in line with the Modi government’s efforts to promote a cashless economy. Workers whose wages do not exceed Rs 18,000 per month will be covered under the new rule.

The government is set to make it mandatory for payments to factory workers to be made only through cheque or direct transfer. “One of the reasons for ineffective enforcement of payments of wages to workers is the payment of wages in cash… With the passage of time, technology has undergone a sea change. A large section of employed persons now have bank accounts,” sources told TOI.

“The time has come to adopt technology, as emphasized by Digital India.”

While the central government will have the mandate for workers employed by the railways, in air transport services and mines, and at oilfields (directly or through a sub-contractor), the respective state governments will identify the other industrial and factory establishments.

The government will enforce the measure by amending Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, which will enable the appropriate government to specify the industrial or other establishments in which payments are to be made through cheque or bank accounts.

The government feels that the measure will be easy to implement since the opening of bank accounts at the grassroots level has now become hassle-free under the Jan Dhan Yojana which seeks to push ‘financial inclusion’.

“This will not only promote transparency but also help in reducing the grievances of employees related to non-payment of minimum wages,” a source said, adding that the states of Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Kerala and Haryana have made/initiated provisions in the said Act for payment of wages to the employed persons either by cheque or through credit into bank accounts.

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