The government will relax 41 trade laws.
Mumbai: In a bid to create a more conducive environment for industries in accordance with the ease of doing business, the state government is reviewing 41 legislations having the provision of imprisonment of traders and businessmen for violations in the course of business.
The state is considering doing away with 234 sections from these laws implemented by various departments.
Following directions from the central government, the state government has directed the industries department to expedite the process of decriminalisation of these sections and bring a bill to amend them at the earliest.
According to the data collated by the industries department, of the 41 laws, a maximum of six are related to the labour department, while four each to home, housing, state excise departments. As many as 524 sections of these laws have the provision of imprisonment.
The business community and their organisations have been demanding decriminalisation of these sections. They have been contending that the provisions have been leading to inspector raj and corruption. The organisations have also told the government that they were ready to compound the offences. Laws like shops and establishment, labour laws, factories Acts have the provisions of imprisonment for 1 to 3 years.
“About 134 of these sections have already been decriminalised, while 290 cannot be decriminalised or compounded further. A total of 234 sections of the legislation are being reviewed by the state government. The highest of 95 sections are related to the directorate of industrial safety and health followed by 35 dealt with by the labour commissionerate. The amendment will be done after seeking opinions from the respective departments,” said an official from the industries department.
An official from the labour department, however, said that some of the sections deal with industrial safety and are in the interest of workers. The official said that the decriminalisation of some of the sections may prove against the interest of workers.
Welcoming the move, Viren Shah, president, Federation of Traders’ Welfare Association, said that it will help in ending inspector raj. “We have been demanding this for years. We are not criminals or omission or commission by the traders are not criminal acts,” he said.