During the 1st Question Hour of the National Council I had posed two questions with two other follow-up questions.
The Ministry of Labour and Human Resources had released in November 2009 14 rules and regulations to implement the Labour and Employment Act 2007. One of these rules and regulations was on Provident Fund for the private sector employees.
Q# My first question was about the inclusiveness of the consultative process before the rules were drafted.
To which the Labour Minister stated that the consultative process involved 1055 people across 10 dzongkhags and stretched over 2 years. In terms of representation of employer and employee, 60% from employers and 40% from employees as a primary player in the success were the employers.
Q# My second and follow-up questions were about provisions in the rules which states strict penalties on non-compliance. Even though some entities have been seen to start PF schemes in their organizations, the compliance has not been ideal. In order that private sector employees benefit from the intended law and rule, was the government ready to levy penalties was one question. Another was, if the government thought the private sector was not ready for total compliance for various reasons, did it have a planned time-line for implementation for the benefit of everyone to plan accordingly?
To this the Minister replied that although provisions for levying penalization under various clauses of the rule were possible, the government will not be exercising them. This he said was partly because agencies that have not been able to comply were mostly smaller ones. In addition, “dzongkha” version of the rules and regulations had not been distributed as yet and after distribution (it was mentioned that it was now ready), the government may consider options, although there were no planned implementation time-line for it.