The Labour Wing is headed by the Labour Commissioner. Its main functions are:
|Labour Administration in Bihar|
The history of Labour Resources Department of Bihar can be traced back to the year 1937. For the purpose of conducting an enquiry into the condition of industrial labour prevailing in the industrial sector a committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Rajendra Prasad was constituted on 17th March, 1938, which was known as Bihar Labour Committee. The Committee submitted kits report in April, 1940.
Bihar Labour Enquiry Committee in its report, recommended for establishing a Labour Department for the province. In the words of Bihar Labour Committee -
|Commissioner of Labour|
Initially Commissioner of Labour was also vested with the powers of Secretary to Govt. Later on this system changed Commissioner of Labour is exclusively vested with powers of implementation of different labour laws and to maintain industrial relations in the State of Bihar. At the Govt. level, a separate post of Secretary Labour has been created. Under the Commissioner of Labour, there are one Joint Commissioner of Labour and one Deputy Commissioner of Labour in the headquarters, who assist the Labour Commissioner in discharge of the duties.
There are Deputy Commissioner of Labour who are posted in the division and at important industrial centers. Some Deputy Commissioner of Labour has been assigned with the specific task of enforcement of Minimum Wages Act in agriculture.
In addition to the post of Joint Labour Commissioner, there are 06 posts of Deputy Labour Commissioner, 13 post of Assistant Labour Commissioner, 68 posts of Labour Superintendents and 439 posts of Labour enforcement Officers, who assist in the enforcement of various Labour laws. The Labour Enforcement Officer is posted almost in leach block of the State for enforcing Minimum Wages Act in agriculture.
A separate Directorate of agriculture has been established to ensure proper enforcement of minimum wages Act, in agriculture. Thus the fields functioning under the Commissioner of Labour are divided in two categories (a) General and (b) Agriculture Labour. The Officers of the General Branch are responsible for maintenance of industrial peace as well enforcement of various labour legislation while the officers of agriculture labour branch look after the enforcement of minimum wages act in agriculture and in some rural employment.
All the officers in the field and the head quarters have been vested with necessary legal powers under different act, which they are required to enforce.
There are mainly two areas in which the District Administration is often called upon to intervene and support the officers of the Labour Dept., in the field. One relates to maintenance of industrial peace. Breach of peace is often apprehended during disturbing industrial activities. In such a situation, there is a close interaction between the officers of general administration and those of Labour Dept. It may be relevant to mention that industrial relations are governed not only by the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, but also in the light of recommendations of different tripartite bodies constituted at the state level. These are also sometimes based on practice and conventions. The role of District administration in the event of industrial unrest is mainly two fold-to protect the legitimate interest of the workers and to restore normalcy and industrial peace as soon as possible so that production is not adversely affected.
The other area in which the district administration plays a very crucial role relates to implementation of Minimum Wages Act in agriculture. The implementation of the Minimum Wages Act in respect of agriculture employment is a crucial factor in the context of growing violence in certain pockets of the state. The following Officer's of district administration are declared authority to hear and decide the claim under Minimum Wages Act, 1948 for Agricultural Labour (i) Circle Officer, (ii) Deputy Collector Land Reforms, (iii) Sub-divisional Magistrate and Additional Collector is declared Appellate Authority for all the above authorities. In case direction of the above authority is not complied by employer the directed amount is recovered by district Certificate Officers under Bihar and Orissa Public demand recovery Act, 1941.In case of violation of provisions of Minimum Wages prosecution is filed in court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate & trial is done by First Class Judicial Magistrate.
The Factory Inspectorate is headed by Chief Inspector of Factories who works under over-all control and supervision of Commissioner of Labour. There are 2 Deputy Chief Inspectors of Factories, 17 Inspector of Factories, 2 Medical Inspector of Factories and 2 Chemical Inspector of Factories. The Factory Inspectorate administers the Factories Act, 1948; Payment of Wages Act, 1936; Maternity Benefit Act, 1961; Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986; Minimum Wages Act, 1948 and the Bihar National Holidays and Festival Act, 1971 in the factories.
|Inspectorate of Boilers|
The Inspectorate of Boilers is particularly responsible for the enforcement of the provisions of the Indian Boilers Act,1923 and the Steam Vessels Act. This branch, which is purely technical in nature, has been placed under the Chief Inspector of Boilers with 2 Inspector of Boilers posted in the field. The work of inspection and enforcement under Office Rent Provisions of the Act is carried out under the supervision of the Chief Inspector of Boilers, who works under control and supervision of the Commissioner of Labour.
|Tribunals & Labour Courts|
For protecting and promoting the interest of labour and industrial peace in the state, the Govt. of Bihar has established Industrial Tribunal & Labour Courts. At present 2 Industrial Tribunals and 8 Labour Courts are functioning in different parts of the state. Industrial Tribunal are located at Patna and Muzaffarpur. The Labour Courts are located at Patna, Bhagalpur, Chapra, Dalmianagar, Begusarai, Motihari, Purnea and Muzaffarpur.
The Industrial Tribunals and Labour Courts constitute the top-most adjudication bodies of the state. Having state-wise jurisdiction, they are competent to adjudicate on all matters referred to them by the appropriate government under the Industrial Disputes Act. These Tribunals and Courts are also empowered to hear and decide cases and claims under different labour legislations arising within their jurisdictional limits.
The Govt. of Bihar has setup a number of tripartite bodies on the lines of the Indian Labour Conference and the Industrial Committee at the center to deal with labour problems in general and also specific matters connected with a particular plant or industry. The Bihar Central Advisory Board, the Standing Committee on Evaluation and Implementation, the Standing Committee on Sugar, the Standing Committee on Jute, Independent Board, Contract Labour Advisory Committee, Minimum wages Advisory Committee, etc. are some of the tripartite bodies functioning at the State level.
|Wages of Labour|
In the State of Bihar, 75 employments have been added in the schedule of Minimum Wages Act, 1948. Out of which minimum rates of wages have been revised in 63 employments in Schedule I of the said Act and one employment (Agricultural Labour) in Schedule II of the said Act, The revised minimum wages in 62 employments in Schedule I is 68 rupees for unskilled labour, 66 rupees for Bidi making labour and 66 rupees for unskilled labour for agriculture labour in Schedule II of the Act.
|National Child Labour Project|
In Bihar, 21 districts have been covered under National Child Labour Project (NCLP) and various district-level project societies have been registered. Further, request has also been submitted to the Govt. of India for release of funds to carry out survey of Child Labour in these 21 districts. 40 schools in the district of Jamui, 25 in Nalanda and 40 in Saharsa have started functioning comprising 2000, 2500 & 2000 Child Labour.
|Integrated Housing Schemes|
Under the revised Integrated Housing Scheme for Beedi-Workers in Bihar, a total of 1,026 beneficiaries at Jamui district have been recommended or sanctioned by Govt. of India.