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Labour bills passed by House, “historic game changers” says labour minister Santosh Gangwar.

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Three labour code bills, which will provide social security for workers in organized and unorganized sectors as well as remove hurdles for winding up of companies, have been passed by Parliament.

Rajya Sabha passed the bills on industrial relations, occupational safety and social security by a voice vote on Wednesday, amidst the continuing boycott by opposition parties over the suspension of eight MPs. The three bills, which were passed by Lok Sabha on Tuesday, will now be sent to the President for his assent.

Describing the bills as “historic game changers”, labour minister Santosh Gangwar said they will harmonies the needs of workers, industries and other related parties. The reforms will prove to be a milestone for the welfare of the workers in the country, while also providing a transparent system to suit the changed business environment, he said.

The reforms will safeguard the interest of workers and provide “universal social security” to them by expanding the ambit of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization and Employees’ State Corporation of India. There will be a “social security fund” to cover the around 40 crore workers in the unorganized sector, he said.

The reforms will also allow firms with up to 300 workers to fire workers without government permission. As many as 16 states have already increased the threshold for closure, lay off and retrenchment in firms up to 300 workers without government permission, he said. He said it was not good for employment generation to keep the threshold low at 100 because it discourages employers to recruit more workers.

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RBI issues guidelines for SRO’s for payment system operators.

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The Reserve Bank on Thursday issued final guidelines, including the framework, to set up a self-regulatory organisation for payment system operators as part of its payment and settlement systems vision.

The Reserve Bank on Thursday issued final guidelines, including the framework, to set up a self-regulatory organisation for payment system operators as part of its payment and settlement systems vision. The framework will enable the central bank to recognize a self-regulatory organisation (SRO) for payment system operators (PSOs). The plan was announced in February 2020 monetary policy. “Interested groups/association of PSOs (banks as well as non-banks) seeking recognition to be an SRO may apply to the chief general manager, department of payment and settlement systems at the RBI,” the regulatory circular said.

An SRO is a non-governmental organisation that sets and enforces rules and standards relating to the conduct of its members to help protect customers and promote ethical and professional standards.

An SRO can help frame rules for system security, pricing practices, customer protection measures, grievance redressal mechanisms, among others, and is expected to resolve the disputes among the members internally through mutually accepted processes to ensure that members operate in a disciplined environment and even accept its penal actions.

The central bank said the SRO shall be set up as a not-for-profit company under the Companies Act of 2013 and only regulated payment system entities such as banks and non-bank PSOs can be members of the SRO.

At least one-third of the members on the board of directors of the SRO shall be independent and not associated with member institutions.

The board shall frame a code of conduct for the members.

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