Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Applying these general considerations, we proceed to indicate some classes whose immediate inclusion seems desirable, and we deal first with some sections of industry which are mentioned in the Act. In respect of factories, the Act at present applies only to factories as defined in Section 2 (3) (a) of the Factories Act. It thus excludes factories notified by the local Governments under Section 2 (3) (6). Suggestions have been made to us that these should also be included. But we do not think that the question of the inclusion of factory workers within the scope of the Workmen's Compensation Act should be bound up with that of bringing these factories under the Factories Act; it is preferable that the factory workers to whom the former Act applies should be clearly specified as at present. We recommend the extension of that Act to factories using power in aid of a manufacturing process and employing not less than 10 persons on any one day of the year and also to factories carrying on manufacturing processes without the use of power, if not less than 50 persons are employed on any one day. In the case of mines, the Act at present applies to all mines subject to the operation of the Mines Act. This provision is open to the objection referred to above in the case of factories, for it is possible for the Government of India to exclude any mines or classes of mines from the operation of the Mines Act. The effect of exclusion, which may be necessitated by administrative considerations applicable solely to the Mines Act, is to deprive workers of their right to compensation. We recommend, therefore, that the Workmen's Compensation Act should apply to workers in all mines except those open quarries in which less than 50 persons are employed and in which no explosives are used. This last qualification is advisable, because the clause relating to blasting operations might be regarded as covering only those engaged in such operations, and not all who are liable to be placed in jeopardy thereby. In respect of dock workers, we recommend an extension of the definition to cover all classes of workmen employed in docks. In respect of oilfields the definition, which is apparently intended to exclude non-hazardous employment, should be enlarged by the excision of the specific occupations given in the clause relating to the industry. In the clause relating to building work, we recommend the exclusion of the reference to industrial or commercial purposes and the inclusion of all permanent bridges. Even with these extensions, the Act would fail to include a large number of workers engaged in building and other outdoor constructional work who satisfy both the criteria originally laid down, and the application of our methods will involve a large extension. We deal with further classes of such workers later.