Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Another practical point of importance is that of enforcement. It is not uncommonly supposed that the enforcement of statutory wage rates implies " an army of inspectors ", involving a large amount of both expense and irritation. We believe that, if basic rates of wages in Assam were fixed with due care and attention, only a small staff would be required for their enforcement. Owing to the seasonal nature of the industry, the tea factories of Assam, unlike those in Ceylon or in South India, are open for only part of the year. Moreover, the number of such factories and the nature of their inspection does not involve the volume of work to be found in a corresponding area in other parts of India, where one or more industrial cities are included, although in Assam the amount of time absorbed by travelling long distances by rail and motor has-to be taken into consideration.
We believe that the duties of factory and wage inspector could be combined. The inspector would concentrate on both factory and wage inspection during six months of the year and entirely on wage inspection during the remaining period when the factories were closed. The effectiveness of wage regulation depends mainly on three things—the agreement of the industry, its degree of organisation and the efficiency of the enforcement. It is reasonable to anticipate that, by the time the promulgation of rates had been reached, the machinery in Assam, as in Ceylon, would be working with the agreement and active co-operation of the industry. Moreover, while the workers are completely unorganised (a fact which alone makes inspection by independent officials essential), the employers are unusually highly organised, the one Association covering over 90 per cent of the industry. The employer failing to observe the law would, in due course, become conspicuous and thus invite the attention of the inspector. We anticipate that the administration of the statutory rates during the first few years would be largely explanatory and advisory, with a view to assisting employers to make themselves thoroughly conversant with the requirements of the law. The application of an old type of legislation in a new sphere may often appear to those at first brought into contact with it fraught with many dangers and difficulties. If the enforcement of that legislation is characterised from the outset by sympathetic and understanding administration, these dangers and difficulties are found gradually to disintegrate, and what was first accepted experimentally with suspended judgment becomes a valued part of the machinery of the industry.