Rajya Sabha passed the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, which prohibits employment of children below 14 years in all occupations. The only exception is in family business, with the provision for imprisonment of up to two years for any violation.
The Bill, which provides for enhanced punishment for violators, was passed by a voice vote. It also defines children between 14-18 years as adolescents and says that children should not be employed in any hazardous occupations.
The penalty for employing a child has been increased to imprisonment between six months and two years (from three months to one year), or a fine of Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 50,000 (from Rs. 10,000-20,000) or both.
According to provisions of the Bill, no child should be employed in any occupation, says Bandaru Dattatreya Minister of Labour and Employment.
Exceptions are if children helps his family after school hours or helps his family in the fields, home based work, forest gathering or attends technical institutions during vacations for the purpose of learning.