Draft of the data to be filled in the Online Form Nomination Category e-Gov: Best Government to Citizen Initiative of the

Year Brief description of the programme/project/initiative: The Labour Department, Government of Maharashtra has undertaken a path breaking initiative brand named as „Mahashramm‟ to create a win-win situation for citizens including labour and businesses in organized and unorganized sector. The initiative creates an e-interface with the Labour department for both the businesses and the labourers and provides a system to ensure seamless implementation of 46 labour laws which the department is implementing both for the organized and unorganized labour. The project envisages to provide registration of the entire labour force numbering 19 million and give them financial inclusion on the one hand and provide submitting application for online licenses, renewal of licenses, exemptions and submitting annual and monthly returns online to the factories and shops and establishments. The project has, therefore, enabled diverse citizen groups of 19 million labour and 10 million businesses to raise their concerns and interface with the Labour department in an easy and transparent manner. The portal „www.mahashramm.gov.in‟ provides the required information and process flows to the citizens including the businesses and all employers and also gives them detailed procedure of how to apply for licenses, register their businesses or seek exemptions online. In addition to this, the project portal also provides a dashboard which can be accessed by designated officers to monitor the applications and returns received. Automatic alerts on the returns filed reflect the businesses and the labour laws which have not been complied with and automatic reminders are sent to the said businesses, requesting compliances. Only after the compliances are not received even after 3 reminders, the inspectors of the Labour department are required to visit the establishments. Thus, inspection becomes more transparent and targeted greatly facilitating the 10 million employers. In addition to the above, the project also creates an excellent opportunity of creating a network of business correspondents from which the labour can withdraw money within a radius of 2 km from her workplace, as a result of which employment is also generated for the citizens. As a part of the project, pioneering amendments were made for the State of Maharashtra for the first time in the history of labour laws in India to mandate payment of wages, bonus, gratuity, HRA through cheques or bank accounts only. For this, the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the Maharashtra Workmen‟s Minimum House Rent Allowance Act, 1983, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, and in the Maharashtra Gratuity Rules were suitably amended. In addition,returns were recast and designed in order to capture a comprehensive picture of the factories and shops and establishments and the same were mandated to be filed online only. The project has four components:     Development of portal for provision of services and interaction with the establishments Development of software for departmental automation. Registration and financial inclusion of labour Creation of a banking correspondent network



The project has been been showcased as one of the good practices under New Technologies available to Labour administration and labour inspection in the 100th Session of International Labour Conference, 2011 at International Labor office, Geneva. In the Indian State of Maharashtra, the Labour Department is partnering with an Indian IT services firm and local banks to create a novel labour management system (LMS). This web-based system is designed to improve several services for employers and workers… The LMS was also designed to streamline the state’s labour machinery by consolidating information gathered from labour inspections and generating automatic alerts to help monitor labour law compliance. The LMS portal will include a compilation of all state labour laws, allowing workers to seek advice and lodge complaints online with the Labour Department. It is hoped that the introduction of the system will also help improve interdepartmental information sharing and coordination, while enabling more manageable and systematic analysis of the labour market in Maharashtra... The system is being piloted in Thane District for four months in early 2011, with the intention of rolling it out across the entire state over a period of two-and-a-half years.

The project also got good reviews from the Citizens some of which are mentioned below:

“The ‘Mahashramm’ portal is not only a one stop destination for all the information about the labour laws and services offered by Labor department but also provides a wide array of online services to the businesses, trade unions and labor in a very intuitive manner. The electronic interface will make the transactions between the department and the businesses hassle free and will bring down the cost of compliance for the businesses” - Mr. Sushil Jiwarajka, Chairman, FICCI Western Regional Council

'The project is superlative in its innovation and reach for both laour and industries. It is by far the best thing that could have happened for the benefit of labour and creating the right environment for industries vis-à-vis their interface with Labour Department’. - Bhai Jagtap, Genereal Secretary, Bhartiya Kamgar Karmchari Mahasangh.



‘I am thankful to Labour department for issuing us the Labor card and facilitating opening of bank account. This will help me get the right wages as well as save money in my bank account.’ Sunil Parachya, Sanitary Worker, Thane Municipal Corporation

The project received a lot of media coverage given its potential to make the labour and the department interface hassle free. As an illustrations, one of the excerpts is given below:

The Maharashtra government has launched a dedicated website to adresss the grievances and pending issues of labour work force across the State. The website would cater the workers to putforth their grievances before the concerned officials in the department, which would be eventually addressed...Workers can file an online complaint by going through 'Complaint Window' in the website. "Laws in the labour department, circulars, government resolutions and various other aspects have also been incorporated in the website.. http://www.governancenow.com/gov-next/egov/mah-govt-launches-dedicated-website-labourwork-force Why was the project started? The project was conceptualized and designed for the first time in the country and perhaps even globally, to bring in transparency and ensure seamless implementations of labour laws and provide an e-interface to the labour and the businesses with the Labour department. 90% of the labour force in Maharashtra is in the unorganized sector and the same totals to nearly 1.9 crore labourers, excluding the agricultural labourers. The innovation was largely attempted to reach the labour force in the unorganized sector which is highly dispersed and there is little way of monitoring them. The labour registration would give them a unique way of developing records of the labour regarding their services, skill sets, employments undertaken and such other data, which would help the labour in enhancing their employability. The project would also give a mechanism for the employers of the unorganized sector to interface with the Labour department by creating a transparent e-interface through which they could obtain registration/licenses and file returns. The returns would enable the department to monitor the businesses both in respect of wage and non-wage payments to the labourers and also with regard to the safety and health consideration of the workers. The project was also started in view of the inadequate inspection machinery available with the department and therefore, necessitating bringing in efficiencies in the inspection systems by making inspections more focused and targeted. Objective The objective is to facilitate all categories of citizens, especially the labourers who form 50% of the State‟s population and the businesses which contribute significantly to the GDP of the country to improve their conditions of work and ensure that labour laws including minimum wages are implemented and that the employers are facilitated in their interface with the Labour department. in a transparent environment.



Target Group All labour comprising the Maharashtra labour landscape, with the exception of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing labour force, totaling 1.9 crore labourers and all shops, establishments, factories and businesses, totaling to nearly 10 million, would be in the ambit of the Mahashramm initiative. Geographical reach The entire State of Maharashtra. Date from which the project became operational 13th September 2011 Is the project still operational (Yes/No) Yes 10 points that make the programme/project innovative (Word Limit: 150) (140 words) 1. Project is first of its kind in India and probably globally, in reaching out to unorganized labour. 2. Creates transparent e-interface of Regulatory department with citizens 3. Creates skill and experience based labour database. 4. Project accompanied with pioneering amendments in relevant labour laws 5. Provides unprecedented access of banking facilities to unorganized labour, it will also benefit banking industry with additional flow of nearly Rs. 80,000 crores through banking channel. 6. Provide workers a comprehensive view of wages, bonuses, PF, Gratuity, HRA etc payments 7. Operationalized completely in PPP mode without financial burden on State Government. 8. Creates network of business correspondents, also generating nearly 50,000 jobs. 9. Labour database created enables matching of workers to employment opportunities and incentivises skill enhancement. 10. Enables effective monitoring of health and safety conditions in workplaces across organized and unorganized sectors

List the five achievements of the programme/project (118 words) 1. Ensuring seamless implementation of labour laws in transparent hassle free environment. 2. Facilitating businesses to transparently interface with Labour department to get information and access services electronically 3. Creates unique identity for each labourer, along with his service data base to enhance his employability 4. Providing the labourer an access to his accounts to check wages, bonus, EPF payments, etc. and track them even as the labourer shifts from one employer to another. Also, providing him



an opportunity to interface online with the department, obtain information on labour laws, his rights and access services online, as also and give complaints, suggestions or feedbacks in a confidential manner. 5. Monitoring safety and health environment in workplaces, in order to bring them to zero incidence rate, thereby reducing human welfare/happiness loss and improving labour morale, industry goodwill, also ensuring that the labour is paid compensation in case of any incidences, even in the unorganized sector.

List the 5 key challenges faced while implementing the programme/project/initiative and how they were overcome. (142 words) 1. Labour registration posed a formidable challenge since muster rolls of the employers did not include many labourers. Challenge was met by taking industrial and business associations onboard and utilizing labour inspection machinery. 2. A dynamic and challenging regulatory landscape, especially on UID front. Alternative, albeit temporary means of data collection for bank account opening were devised. 3. Opposition to pioneering amendments in labour laws met with through conferences at different levels with industrial associations, trade unions, political leaders etc. to enable said amendments. 4. Registration of the employers in the unorganized sector is challenging, „sweep‟ operations are taken up to identify employers in unorganized sector and register them. Inbuilt incentivisation to TSP also promotes these registrations. 5. Negotiated tie-ups with banks and business correspondents (BCs), especially since non- levy of transaction charges by BCs as per RBI guidelines, for such a large unorganized sector creates challenges of viability to the banks and BCs.

List the five points how can the programme serve as a model than can be replicated or adapted by others. (150 words) 1. High level of involvement from Departmental administration, including Principal Secretary, to drive the initiative, as also positioning the project to create visibility to the political leadership 2. Methodical approach to implementation, which included complete BPR and a pilot run in Thane district to consolidate lessons learnt and standardise software and methodologies for statewide rollout 3. Creation of unique monitoring framework and regular monitoring of project status to ensure achievement of milestones. Status meetings typically include all departmental stakeholders, vendor and consultants 4. Manuals and guides for the implementation of project are being developed. This will guide other Governments to replicate the model.



5. The project gives a standardized model of replication since the labour laws in all States are largely governed by Central Acts. There is already a considerable demand from other States and even other countries to adopt the model. ILO reference in the said regard is relevant. List 5 points to elaborate on the scalability of the programme/project/initiative. (146 words)

1. Thane District pilot is being rolled out and scaled up to cover all the remaining 34 districts of the State. 2. The Financial Inclusion of nearly 20 lakh labourers would be extended to cover 19 million labourers all over the State. This would have a significant impact on the quality of their lives and would enable them to access financial services including bank credit in future. 3. The labour database would be an important outcome of the Mahashramm initiative since it could feed into the development of a comprehensive skills-training-vocation policy and employment policy enhancing employability. 4. Mahashramm would provide a tracking code for inbound/outbound interstate migrant labourers. It also enables tracking child labour and enables estimating extent of bondedness. 5. Labour and employer databases developed and networks of business correspondents created by Mahashramm could be leveraged for the delivery of additional governmental services in future



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