20.14         ndian       onom
                                                                  industrial development. Its main features
        lAbour reforMs                                            are—
     We see a significant improvement in industrial                (i) Unique        Labour       Identification
     harmony in India is evident from the fact that                    Number (LIN) allotted to around
     mandays lost on account of strikes and lockout                    0.7 million units facilitating online
     have been steadily declining, from 17.6 million in                registration;
     2009 to 1.79 million (Provisional) to December               (ii) Filing of selfcertified, simplified single
     2014. The multiplicity of labour laws and difficulty              online return instead of 16 separate
     in complying with them has always been cited                      returns by industry;
     as an impediment to industrial development in
                                                                 (iii) Transparent        labour     inspection
     India. This is why labour reforms has been made
                                                                       scheme via computerised system as
     and active part of the ongoing economic reform
                                                                       per risk-based
     process in the country. In a major initiative for
                                                                       criteria and uploading of inspection
     ensuring compliance and promoting ease of doing
     business, the government has initiated a number                   reports within 72 hours by labour
     of labour reform measures. Thus, amendments                       inspectors.
     have been proposed to labour laws to align                3. Under Employees’ State Insurance
     them with the demands of a changing labour                   Corporation (ESIC) Project Panchdeep:
     market. Individually, states like Rajasthan have             Digitisation of internal and external
     also introduced major reforms in three labour                processes to ensure efficiency in operations,
     legislations—the Industrial Disputes Act,                    especially services to employers and
     Factories Act, and Contract Labour Act. In the               insured persons. The portal enables
     past few years, several new initiatives13 have been          employers to file monthly contributions,
     taken by the GoI in this directions which may be             generate temporary identity cards and
     summed-up briefly as given below:                            create monthly contribution challans
           1. The Apprentice Act 1961 was amended                 online, issue of pehchan card for insured
               in December 2014 to make it more                   persons for fast and convenient delivery
               responsive to industry and youth. The              of services. Through the IP Portal, insured
               ‘Apprentice Protsahan Yojana’ was                  persons can check contributions paid/
               also launched to support MSMEs in                  payable by employers, family details,
               the manufacturing sector in engaging               entitlement to various benefits, and
               apprentices. Government is also working            status of claims. Integration of its services
               affirmatively to bring a single uniform law        will promote ease of business and curb
               for the MSME sector to ensure operational          transaction costs.
               efficiency and improve productivity while       4. Under Employees Provident Fund (EPF):
               ensuring job creation on a large scale.            Digitisation of complete database of 42.3
           2. A unified labour portal scheme called               million EPF subscribers and allotment of
               Shram Suvidha Portal has been launched             universal account number (UAN) to each
               for timely redressal of grievances and for         member, which facilitates portability of
               creating a conducive environment for               member accounts. UAN is being seeded
                                                                  with bank account, Aadhar Card and
       13.   Ministry of Labour and Employment, GoI, N. Delhi,
             March 2017 and Economic Survey 2016-17, MoF, GoI,    other KYC details to promote financial
             N. Delhi, Vol. 1, pp. 162.                           inclusion. Direct access to EPF accounts