New Delhi: Government on Tuesday asked the industry to ensure enhanced social protection to contract workers and to regularise their services whenever opportunities arise, in wake of concerns from several quarters about such workers being deprived of their rights.

"I appeal all the industrialists and other institutions to consider whenever the opportunity comes to make them permanent, give them social security" which will also help the industry to enhance productivity, Labour and Employment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said.

He said, "Many contract workers are not being given the opportunities" while the employers are increasingly favouring outsourcing to avoid hiring contract workers.

"....Therefore, all the industrialist and other financial institutions should also take care of the contract workers and try to avoid as far as possible outsourcing and depending on agents, middlemen," he said at an award function here.

The government has already set up a task force to suggest amendments to the Contract Labour Act.

Presenting the 'Vishwarkarma Rashtriya Puraskar and National Safety Awards' for 2009, Kharge said there has been much improvement in the industrial units on the safety front with a gradual decline and fatal accidents and injuries over the years.

He said fatal accidents have come down from 1509 to 1459 during the last couple of years while number of injuries reported has also come down from 33,000 to about 31,500.

(Agencies)