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    Government introduces fresh bill for cashless wages

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    The government on Friday introduced a fresh bill on payment of wages through account transfer and cheques, after withdrawing an earlier bill that was introduced in December last year.

    The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill 2017, like the earlier bill, will amend the 1936 Act which states payment of wages in cheque or through bank transfer can only be made “after taking the employee’s permission”.

    Once the bill is passed, this authorisation would not be needed.

    The bill also provides for giving state and central governments the right to decide any specific industries where they can make payment only through cheque or bank transfers.

    This bill would replace an ordinance brought by the government in December 2016.

    Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, introducing the bill, said it was needed as cash payments result in exploitation of workers and payment through bank accounts or cheques would ensure transparency.

    The introduction of the bill was, however, opposed by Congress member N.K. Premachandran, who said there was no difference in the bill introduced in December and the new bill.

    “There is no substantial alteration in the proposed bill… the intention is just to replace the ordinance,” Premachandran said.

    “The government is not empowered to withdraw a bill if there is no alteration. I oppose the bill but support the content,” he said.

    The objection raised by the member was, however, overruled by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and the bill was introduced in the lower house.

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