Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Our attention has been drawn to the fact that the provisions relating to the payment of funeral expenses of deceased workmen are unsatisfactory. Until 1929 the Commissioner had discretion to deduct from the compensation payable to the dependants the actual funeral expenses of the workman up to a maximum of Rs. 50. During the passage through the legislature of the amending bill of 1928, a change was introduced with the result that the employer can now make to any person by whom the funeral expenses are to be or have been incurred a payment of not more than Rs. 50 for such expenses and deduct that payment from the compensation. We understand that the object of the alteration was to encourage the employer to make advances for funeral expenses by giving him the certainty that such advances would be deducted from the compensation. But the Commissioner cannot question the suitability of the amount paid, nor is he entitled to satisfy himself that the whole amount has been spent on the funeral-This is capable of abuse, and in three cases brought to our notice from Bengal, the employer reported that he had paid the maximum sum to his own sardar for funeral expenses; in one of these cases the total compensation payable was only Rs. 360. We are in sympathy with the aim of the amendment made, but recommend that it should be attained by preventing the funeral expenses from being deducted from the compensation which has to be deposited, and providing instead that, on the "deposit of the compensation, the Commissioner shall deduct the actual cost of the workman's .funeral expenses up to the prescribed limit and pay them to the person who has incurred them. We consider that for such expenses Rs. 50 is too high a limit and recommend the substitution of Rs. 25.