THE BEEDI AND CIGAR WORKERS (CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT) ACT, 1966

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The Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966 was enacted for the purpose of providing the interests and benefits of the employees in the beedi as well as cigar undertakings along with controlling the terms of employment. The provisions of the enactment shall not be applicable to the Jammu and Kashmir State. According to the provisions of the Act, the workers under the undertakings shall employ or permit the utilization in any location or properties like that of a commercial property without holding legal authorization given as per the provisions of the enactment and such property or location shall not be employed except as per the stipulations and terms of that certification. The person who aims to employ or permit the use of any location or property as commercial place shall prefer a request to the concerned official in the manner as well as on payment of laid down charges to get the authorization to use or give permission such property or commercial place. The request so given shall be added with the prescribed number of workers intended to be worked at any period in the locality or place and should be along with strategy of the location or the place that is organized in the specific manner.

The Act vests the power to settle whether to give license or not on a particular authority with respect to certain issues specified under the enactment. The matters relate to the appropriateness of the location or property that is intended to be employed for the production of beedi as well as cigar. The issues also relate with the prior knowledge of the person applying for license. The pecuniary steadiness of the person added with the monetary capacity to comply with the needs that arise due to the prevailing law that concern with the labour benefits is also a matter coming under this provision. It also consists of the good intention of the applicant as well as the welfare of the public at large. The license which is issued under the Act shall be legal only during that financial year unless renewed annually within the specified term. The persons who are not satisfied by the orders or decisions reached by the concerned authority in issuing of such license or any matters related with such license shall prefer an appeal to the authority specified by the State Government by publishing in the Gazette and such authority shall be competent to validate, alter or amend the license issued under the Act.

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By virtue of the provisions of the Act, the Government of each State shall have power to appoint the officials coming under the local authorities who are qualified to be so appointed as the Inspector to perform the functions specified under the Act. Chief Inspectors shall also be employed by the State Governments to put into effect the functions of the Inspector. Such inspector shall be considered as the public servant coming under the purview of the Indian Penal Code. The Inspector shall be competent to scrutinize and conduct inquiry to determine whether the terms of the Act are observed effectively. He shall also order the production of documents or records that are connected with the creation of beedi or cigar. The Inspector shall also examine the places on just and fair reasons to confirm that the manufacture of the products is done in conformity with the provisions of the enactment. Moreover, the industrial undertakings shall be maintained dirt free and shall be kept away from the effluvia coming from consumes or other annoyance and shall comply with the norms of cleanliness. The Act also contains provision for overcapacity, first aid facilities and ventilation. It further forbids the service of children and regulates the working hours of women in the industrial areas. Special provision is also added for the inclusion of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 and Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.

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The State governments are sanctioned under the Act to make rules for the implementation of the Act effectively. The present Act was amended by enacting the Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Amendment Act, 1993.