Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
The existing statistical information relating to labour can be briefly reviewed. So far as factories are concerned, there is published in each province an annual report on the working of the Factories Act. These reports, in addition to reviewing the administration of the Act for the preceding year, contain a little information regarding wages and other matters affecting the welfare of the workers. They are accompanied by fairly full statistics giving details of the number of factories, the working population, their hours of employment, accidents, inspections, prosecutions under the Act and other matters. The information contained in the various provincial reports is summarised in " Statistics of Factories ", an annual publication issued by the Government of India. To this is appended a short note on the working of the Factories Act during the year which calls attention to the more important features of the year's administration. The form of the returns is prescribed by the Central Government under the Factories Act, and their submission is obligatory on factory owners. These returns do not make any distinction between perennial and seasonal factories. As conditions are very different in these two classes and their combination in one set of statistics gives a misleading impression of factory activity and the regulation of factory work, we recommend that all the statistical tables at present prepared be compiled and published separately in respect of perennial and seasonal factories. So far as we are in a position to judge. the factory statistics are reasonably accurate, but more attention should be devoted in some provinces to checking the figures supplied by factory owners in respect of the average number of workers employed. We recommend that Government should examine the possibility of obtaining from the factory owner the total number of persons employed in his factory for not less than one month in a year. We are aware of the difficulties but we believe that in the perennial factories particularly the maintenance of some record of this type would be of advantage to employers in obtaining the facts relating to turnover. We further recommend that the Factories Act be amended so as to make it possible to call for returns in respect of wages following the analogy of the Mines Act. These statistics are not usually published until the second year following the year to which they relate, and other statistics are frequently published after a delay which diminishes their utility.
We recognise the difficulty where provincial statistics have to be co-ordinated and recommend that an examination be made of the causes of delay with a view to devising a method which will ensure more prompt publication.