The International Labour Day or May Day was observed

Gangtok, May 1 (IPR): The International Labour Day or May Day was observed in a befitting manner here in the State capital today. The State-level celebration organised by the Labour Department, Government of Sikkim at Manan Kendra was attended by Minister for Buildings & Housing and Transport Departments, Shri Sanjit Kharel, as chief guest accompanied by Minister for Labour Department, Shri M.N. Sherpa, as the guest of honour.
The event had the presence of Deputy Speaker, SLA, Shri Sangay Lepcha, UDHD Minister, Shri Arun Upreti, MLAs, Smt Sunita Gajmer, Shri Bishnu Kumar Khatiwada, Shri Em Prasad Sharma and Shri Y.T. Lepcha, Mayor, GMC, Shri N.B. Chettri, Deputy Mayor, Smt Tshering Palden Bhutia, Additional Chief Secretary, Labour Department, Shri A.K. Yadav, and Secretary, Ms Namrata Thapa, alongside Chairmen, Advisors, HoDs and dignitaries from various departments. The celebration had the participation of a large number of labourers and workers community.
Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang virtually relayed his Labour Day greetings to the audience from Sikkim House, New Delhi. He said that the State government is committed to the health and welfare of the labourers and workers community and will continue facilitating various schemes to regulate their employment and conditions of services and protect them from exploitations of any kind.
The Chief Minister announced that the minimum wages of labourers who do not fulfil the criteria for regularisation will be revised to Rs. 15,000/- under the Minimum Wages Act.
Stating that drivers are essential workers in every society, the Chief Minister said that an ex-gratia relief of Rs 5 lakh will be granted to the next kin in case of the unfortunate death of a driver in accidents or during other professional duties. He informed that the Drivers Welfare Board will provide various assistance in the interest and welfare of drivers of Sikkim which will be established soon for which a separate budget has already been allocated in the General Budget 2022-23. He further added that the State government will provide Bolero Taxis to the best drivers of each district of Sikkim to help them to be self-sufficient.
Highlighting the various other initiatives undertaken by the State government for the welfare of the labourers and workers in the State, the Chief Minister urged all the labourers and workers to register themselves with the Labour Department in order to take full advantage of various schemes and programmes initiated by the Centre and the State government.
In his brief address as the chief guest, Minister Shri Sanjit Kharel said that the revised Minimum Wages Act to Rs. 15,000/- as announced by the Chief Minister is in itself a gift to the labourers and workers community of Sikkim from the State government on the occasion of the International Labour Day. He exhorted that there has been a significant decrease in cases of labour unrest in the State and an increase in the prosperity of the community with 90% of active labourers contributing towards the development of the State as a whole.
He urged for better HR coordination and collaboration in order to build strong employee relationships and added that both employer and the employee should always have a good intention of ensuring the welfare of the State. He further assured full support of the State government for the protection and safety of the rights of the labourers and workers.
Labour Minister, Shri M.N. Sherpa, in his address, said that the State government achieved a historical milestone with the introduction of the Sikkim Labour Bill, 2021 which has made the registration and annual licensing of service providers or employers and establishments along with the labourers mandatory. The State government has been facilitating various schemes dedicated to protecting the labourers and workers community by bringing transparency to manpower management in the State.
He urged all the heads of the companies to immediately avail the facility of the suggestion/complaint box if they haven’t yet. The keys to the box need to be handed over to the concerned officials of the Labour Department. He asserted that the complaint box be kept away from the radar of any CCTVs in the area. He also directed for the maintenance of inspection books by all the companies and employers in order to aid smooth monitoring and problem solving of various issues by the department.
Secretary, Labour Department, Ms. Namrata Thapa, gave a comprehensive presentation about the benefits which are given to the labourers under various schemes initiated by the department.
During the event, the Labour Department launched the e-service portal Sikkim Shram Suvidha ( and the help desk with a toll-free helpline number for labourers – 18003451474 – through the hands of the chief guest.
Subsequently, 30 workers of various departments, companies and pharmaceuticals from all six districts of the State were presented with the Mukhya Mantri Shram Samman by the State government in recognition of their outstanding contribution in both public and private sectors.
Similarly, token financial assistance of Rs. 5000/- was presented to 30 workers registered under the Building and Other Construction Workers or BOCW Scheme. The remaining workers will be covered by the scheme subsequently, it was informed.
The programme also included the felicitation of 27 Inspectors of the Labour Department for their commendable service beyond their call of duty, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Likewise, prizes were also distributed to the winners of the essay writing and painting competitions conducted by the Labour Department.
A cultural programme featuring two dance performances by workers of Aristo Pharmaceutical and children of BOCW labourers residing at Lingding Hostel and a song by a representative of Sikkim Distilleries Limited was also presented.
A short documentary film on the history and importance of Labour Day was screened earlier during the event.
At the onset, the welcome address was delivered by Additional Labour Commissioner, Labour Department, Shri Damber Singh Kunwar, while the vote of thanks was proposed by Additional Labour Commissioner, Labour, Shri Kashi Raj Limboo.
A free health camp and a blood donation camp were set up at the premises by STNM Hospital, Gangtok. Free medicine kits were also distributed for the benefit of the workers. The kits were provided by various pharmaceutical companies in the State

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