Labour ministry unveils single online common return facility in a bid to ease business norms

Source: Economic Times

Moving towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of improving the ease of doing business in the country, the labour ministry on April 24 unveiled a single online common return facility for firms under eight central laws. It is also gearing up to launch a single registration facility for five central labour laws.

Firms registered under any of the four organisations of the labour ministry will now be able to file online a single return under the eight central labour laws through the Shram Suvidha portal. There are 16 labour laws in the country, out of which 10 require filing of returns, either annually or biannually.

However, firms will now have to file a single return for eight central labour laws, barring the EPF & MP Act and the ESIC Act, only once in a year. The eight legislations covered under the facility include the Payment of Wages Act 1936, the Minimum Wages Act 1948, the Contract Labour Act 1970, the Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act 1979, the Maternity Benefit Act 1961, the Industrial Disputes Act 1947, the Payment of Bonus Act 1965 and the Building and Other Construction Workers Act 1996.

“The single online common annual return facility will help firms comply with eight central labour laws. It will reduce the transaction cost of business, do away with the need to file multiple returns and help motivate informal economy to get formalised,” labour and employment minister Bandaru Dattatreya said.

According to Dattatreya, the labour ministry in association with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion will soon launch a common registration service that will help firms get registered under five labour laws.

These acts include the EPF & MP Act, the ESIC Act, the Contract labour Act, the Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act 1979 and the Building and Other Construction Workers Act 1996.

The ministry’s unified web ‘ShramSuvidha Portal’ caters to four major organisations under it – Office of Chief Labour Commissioner (Central), Directorate General of Mines Safety, Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation and Employees’ State Insurance Corporation.

The facility for allotment of Labour Identification Number (LIN) and the transparent inspection scheme have been activated on the web portal. Now the portal will not only facilitate online registration for LIN but also allow firms to file self-certified and simplified single online return.

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