Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Cabinet in its 14″ meeting held on May 29, 2020 had approved the proposal of promulgation of Ordinance for amendment of certain sections of the Factories Act, 1948. Thereafter, kind instructions of Hon’ble President were sought for by Hon’ble Governor for promulgation of Ordinance. As per the views obtained from Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India, a memorandum was placed before the Cabinet for consideration of amendment of the Factories Act, 1948 for the State of Odisha.
The Cabinet have approved the proposal of promulgation of Ordinance for amendment of Section 2(m), 65(3), 66(1), 79(1), 85(1) of the Factories Act, 1948 and insertion of new section 5A and 92-A to the Factories Act, 1948 with following implications:-
- The threshold for factories is increased to 20 (with the aid of power) and 40 (without the aid of power) from existing 10 and 20 respectively. That means, the premises including the precincts thereof engaging man power less than 20 where manufacturing process is being carried on with the aid of power and man power less than 40 where manufacturing process is being carried on without the aid of power will be exempted from license, renewal, approval of plans, payment of fees and regular inspections.
- Where the State Government is satisfied in the public interest that it is necessary, it may, exempt new factories (in which commercial production starts within the period of one thousand days from the date of amendment) from the applicability of certain sections of the Act for a period of one thousand days.
Other amendment proposals already approved by the Cabinet in its meeting dated 29.05.2020 such as increase the overtime limit from 75 hours to 115 hours per quarter, allowing women to work in night shift with their consent, reduction of the number of days for which a worker has to work in a factory for allowing him leave with wages in the subsequent year from existing 240 days to 180 days and introduction of the concept of compounding of petty offences with provision of fines in lieu of prosecutions have also been incorporated.
These amendments will facilitate investment, generate more employment and will counter the hardships caused to MSMEs due to the COVID pandemic by way of creating a more conducive and business-friendly atmosphere while keeping.