Jammu, Dec 10: Principal Secretary J&K Finance department Santosh D Vaidya has directed all the administrative departments to direct their subordinate offices to follow “statutory obligations in the contracts for hiring manpower from outsourcing agencies on GeM portal” and ensure their strict compliance.
Direction has been issued after the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India, has expressed concern about “possible underpayment of contractual workers engaged through outsourcing agencies due to unauthorized deduction in wages by such agencies.”
The Ministry has also flagged the issue of “delayed payment of monthly wages to such workers by the agencies and non-deposition of EPF and ESIC contributions of the workers.”
“In order to protect the interest of such workers, the Government of India recently incorporated a string of statutory obligations in the contract of hiring manpower through outsourcing agencies on
GeM portal,” Vaidya has pointed out.
“These statutory obligations specify mandatory contribution of EPF and ESIC by the agencies in a timely manner. The service provider or contractor will be responsible for paying wages to contract labour at rates not less than the minimum wages as notified by the appropriate government,” Principal Secretary Finance has mentioned, quoting statutory provisions.
The administrative departments have been asked to comply with the provisions which bar the service provider or contractor from making any unauthorized deductions from the wages of the contract labour.
“As per the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970, the service provider or contractor shall be responsible for ensuring that wages are paid to the contract labour on time. The principal employer or buyer shall ensure that the wages are paid on time to the contract labour by the service provider or contractor. In case they (service provider or contractor) fail to pay the wages on time or make short payment, the principal employer or buyer shall be liable to pay the wages to the contract labour directly and recover the amount from the service provider or contractor,” the provisions specify.
Vaidya, quoting obligations, has directed that the service provider or contractor will be responsible for paying bonus to contract labour in the manner prescribed by the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 and will get reimbursed from the buyer.
“The service provider or contractor shall be responsible for paying proportionate gratuity to contract labourwho have rendered continuous service as per the provisions of the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972,” he has cautioned, while asking the departments to ensure strict compliance.