125,000 km roads to water disputes: All Cabinet decisions taken on Wednesday

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  • Cabinet approves Bill to have a single tribunal for Water disputes and the decisions have to be taken in two years
  • Cabinet approves 1.25 lakh km under PMGSY-III with 80,000 cr investment to connect mandis, hospitals and other centres of economic activities in next six years

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a slew of important decisions on Wednesday.

1) Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill, 2019: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill that seeks to merge 13 central labour laws into a single code which would apply on all establishments employing 10 or more workers.

The proposed code enhances the coverage of workers manifold as it would be applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more workers, where any industry, trade, business, manufacture or occupation is carried on, including IT establishments or establishments of service sector, the release said.

The Bill also has rules framed for women working in night shifts.

2) Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019: This Bill will help tackle the menace of illicit deposit-taking activities in the country. The bill will replace the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Ordinance, 2019.

Talking to reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said people are suffering due to chit fund scams.

“The bill will help tackle the menace of illicit deposit taking activities in the country, which at present are exploiting regulatory gaps and lack of strict administrative measures to dupe poor and gulible people of their hard earned money,” an official release said.

3) Launch of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana-III: Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved road length up to 125,000 Km to be consolidated at estimated cost 80,250 crore, to connect mandis, hospitals and other centres of economic activities in the next six years.

4) Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019: The Bill was approved with a view to streamline the adjudication of inter-state river water disputes and make the present institutional architecture robust. Cabinet approves Bill to have a single tribunal for water disputes and the decisions have to be taken in two years. Now there are nine tribunals and these will become one.

5) Amendment in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012: The amendment will make punishment more stringent for committing sexual crimes against children including death penalty. The amendments in the POCSO Act also provide for fines and imprisonment to curb child pornography.

The changes are expected to discourage the trend of child sexual abuse by acting as a deterrent due to strong penal provisions incorporated in the Act, the government said.

“It intends to protect the interest of vulnerable children in times of distress and ensures their safety and dignity. The amendment is aimed to establish clarity regarding the aspects of child abuse and punishment thereof,” it said.

6) Grant of Organized Group ‘A’ status to Indian Railway Protection Force (RPF) Service: The government hopes this will end stagnation, improve career progression of the officers and keep up their motivational level.

7) The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019: The Bill provides a mechanism for transgenders’ social, economic and educational empowerment.

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