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MDMK leader meets Manmohan, calls for hike in bonus ceiling

J. Venkatesan

"Twelve years have passed since the last amendment in 1993" "It would be a festival gift to the workers if the government promulgated an ordinance to amend the Act."

NEW DELHI: MDMK general secretary Vaiko on Tuesday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and impressed on him the need for amending the Payment of Bonus Act to increase the bonus ceiling.

In a memorandum, he said the Bonus Act was amended in 1993, raising the salary limit for receiving bonus to Rs. 3,500 and the bonus ceiling to Rs. 2,500. Twelve years had passed and, during this period, the cost of living index had risen from 5,983 to 13,580. Not raising the bonus ceiling had adversely affected crores of employees in private establishments across the country.

Mr. Vaiko told the Prime Minister that it would be a festival gift to the workers if the government promulgated an ordinance to amend the Act on the occasion of Onam, Durga pooja and Diwali.

He told The Hindu that the Prime Minister had promised to look into the demand.

In another memorandum, Mr. Vaiko urged the government to amend the Contract Labour Regulation and Abolition Act to incorporate a mandatory provision for abolition of the contract labour system.

It said at present, abolition of the contract labour system was only by way of a guideline. As a result, in the last 35 years, it was hard to find serious enforcement of the Act. Mr. Vaiko told the Prime Minister that if the situation was allowed to persist and the exploitation continued, it would seriously affect the lives of the working class.

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