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No child labour in Sanghi Spg Ind, says Minister

Our Bureau

Hyderabad , July 7

THE Andhra Pradesh Minister for Labour and Employment, Mr G. Vinod, told the State Assembly on Wednesday that child labour was not employed by Sanghi Spinning Industries (SSI), drawing vociferous protests from the members of the Opposition Telugu Desam Legislature Party.

Replying to a heated debate in the House on the incidence of child labour in the State and the accident to the vehicle carrying labourers of SSI on June 16, this year, the Minister said that none of the labourers involved in the incident were below 14 years and the charge of the TDLP members that the company was employing child labour was false.

Disputing the Minister's statement, TDLP member, Mr N. Janardhana Reddy, cited the dates of birth of six children who were born in 1989, 1990 and 1992 and forwarded the documents to the Speaker, Mr K.R. Suresh Reddy. He alleged that the Minister was misleading the House and shielding the Sanghi management.

The Leader of the Opposition, Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu, said that out of the 65 labourers involved in the accident, 25 children were below the age of 14 years while another 21 were aged about 15 to 16 years. He wanted the Government to arrest Sanghi managers, impose a fine on the company at a rate of Rs 25,000 per child employed and order a judicial probe into the entire episode.

The CPM leader, Mr N. Narasimhaiah, and the party legislator, Mr M.A. Gafoor, wanted the Government to pay ex gratia to the injured children apart from inquiring into the incident and taking action against Sanghi management.

The Finance Minister, Mr K. Rosaiah, said that the Government would inquire into the incident as early as possible. It will also consider ordering a judicial probe into the episode. With regard to payment of ex gratia, it would examine whether the Government or the industry involved would make the payment.

Earlier in his reply, Mr Vinod said that following the accident, the Factories Department and Labour Department made surprise inspections of SSI but found "no child labour' in the factory.

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