The central government has brought an amendment to the Child Labour Act to prohibit child labour in any occupation in any industry, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said on Wednesday.
Replying to a question in Rajya Sabha, he termed the issue as "serious" and sought the cooperation of members in the passage of the amendment bill.
"We want total prohibition of child labour in any occupation in any industry. That is why we have moved an amendment to the Act and we have given notice. I seek the cooperation of members that this time the bill should be passed so that there is total prohibition of child labour," he said during Question Hour.
In his written reply, Dattatreya said there are 43.53 lakh workers in the age group of 5-14 years in the country as per 2011 census which shows a decline from 2001 census.
The Minister said the bill to amend the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 has been introduced in Rajya Sabha in 2012.
"The government has also decided to move official amendments, inter-alia, proposes complete prohibition on employment of children under 14 years, linking the age of prohibition with the age under Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, making the punishment for employers more stringent and constitution of Rehabilitation Fund for rehabilitation activists," Dattatreya said.
He said appellate authorities in central and state governments have also been set up.
"All district magistrates should be empowered for implementation of the Act," he said, seeking proper implementation of the Child Labour Act.
To a question on how he would stop child labour in television advertisements, he said, "It is to be seen. I will go through this and whatever necessary action has to be taken, we will take."