The importance of labour in industrialization and economic development has been recognised globally and importance of labour welfare has been increasingly appreciated. Labour welfare is an important dimension of industrial relation. In Himachal Pradesh, the State Government is committed for the welfare of workers working in industrial sector, hydropower projects and other establishments. For this, as many as twenty three Central Labour Laws and two State Labour Laws are being implemented effectively.
The Government is ensuring that minimum wages are paid to the workers well in time as per the provisions of the Labour Laws. The State Labour and Employment Department is not only helping the youth to get gainful employment but also ensure their better service conditions. In order to ensure proper service conditions and safety of workers, inspections are conducted from time to time.
With a view to provide technical and highly skilled manpower to industrial units, institution and establishment setup in the State, a Rs 500 crore Skill Development Allowance Scheme is being implemented in the State. Under the Scheme, an allowance of Rs. 1000 per month for youth doing skill training and Rs. 1500 per month for 50 percent permanently physically disabled, is being provided for duration of training, subject to maximum two years. Over 77,000 youth have been benefited from this scheme till date. A Skill Development Corporation has been established in the State to effectively implement skill development programmes. A Skill Development Institute is coming up in Una district with an estimated cost of Rs 11 crore.
A Special Employment Exchange for Physically Handicapped has been set-up in Directorate of Labour & Employment to provide job assistance to the physically challenged persons. During the last about two and a half years, over 5000 candidates were registered in the Cell and 477 vacancies were notified. As a result of which 585 submissions were made and 133 physically challenged youth were provided employment through this Physically Handicapped Cell.
In order to provide a common platform for the workers engaged in construction work and to save them from exploitation in the hands of contractors, a HP Building and Other construction Workers Welfare Board has been constituted in the State. Under this all those building and other construction workers who have completed 90 days of working during the preceding 12 months and MNREGA workers who have completed 50 days of working during preceding 12 months are eligible for registration for beneficiaries with the HP Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board. Every establishment coverable under the Act has to deposit Cess at the rate of 1 per cent of total construction cost with this Board.
All the workers registered with the Board are being provided benefits such as health and insurance cover, loan for purchase of tools, financial assistance for education and marriage, assistance for female workers for purchase of cycles, solar lamps, induction heaters, washing machines etc. Since last two and a half years, about 5900 beneficiaries were registered with the Board. Over 46,000 beneficiaries have been provided benefits to the tune of Rs 885 lakh during this period.
Since most industries and services have developed in semi-urban areas, planned and sustainable urban development has been identified as a top priority in the agenda for development of industries in the State. Planned development of areas with high industrial concentration is being undertaken including provisioning of industrial housing for migrant workers. Worker Hostels has been constructed for male and female in Baddi-Brotiwala and Nalagarh area beside a Worker Hostel is also coming up at Thaliwal industrial area in Una district.