New Delhi– The government of India on Thursday reduced the number of registers to be maintained under the labour laws from 56 to five for about 5.85 crore establishments in a major step aimed at enhancing the ease of doing business, an official statement said.

According to a release, the move will facilitate these establishments in agriculture and non- agriculture sectors to “save cost and efforts and ensure better compliance of labour laws”.

“These registers are related to details of employees, their salaries, loans/recoveries, attendance,” said the release.

Under various Central labour acts, there is a requirement of maintenance of registers depending upon the threshold of the number of employees by these establishments.

As per the Sixth Economic Census of Central Statistical Office conducted during 2013-2014, India has about 5.85 crore establishments in agricultural and non-agricultural sectors combined.

“Out of this, 4.54 crore establishments are in non-agricultural sector. While reviewing the requirement of filing various returns/registers/forms provided under nine Central Acts, there were several overlapping/redundant fields that could be rationalised,” according to the release.

An intention notification was issued on November 4, 2016 for reducing the number of registers/data fields and the same was widely circulated to concerned ministries and departments, state governments, other stakeholders besides placing the same in public domain.

“In effect, all previous registers envisaged under various Acts/Rules have been omitted and replaced with only five common registers. Such an exercise has reduced number of data fields in five registers to only 144 from the existing 933 fields in 56 registers,” the release said.

The Ministry of Labour & Employment has also simultaneously undertaken development of a software for these 5 common registers.

After development of the software, the same will be put on the Shram Suvidha Portal of the ministry for free download with an aim to facilitate maintenance of those registers in a digitised form.

The laws under which these registers are maintained include the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996, the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970, the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976, the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979, and the Mines Act, 1952.

These laws also include the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1976, the Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1955.