The Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, (IDRA), came into force from 8th May 1952 with an objective to implement industrial policy, take necessary steps for regulation and development of several important industries. IDRA extends to whole of India and offers regulatory and development support to certain industries. The Act provides wider power to the Government of India in relation to regulation on industries.
Different industries covered under its umbrella includes Metallurgical, Fuels, Boilers and steam generating plants, Prime movers (other than electrical generators), Electrical equipment, Telecommunication, Transportation, Industrial machinery etc.
Chapter I of the Act enlists some of the key definitions in relation to the Act including the definition of factory, industrial undertaking, owner, etc.
Chapter II talks about the Central Advisory Council and Development Councils – their establishment, constitution, functions, dissolution, and imposition of taxes (on certain industries). Some of these includes promoting arrangements for better marketing, suggesting norms of efficiency with a view to eliminating waste, obtaining maximum production, improving quality and reducing costs.
Chapter III mention the regulations of scheduled industries under the Act including registration/revocation, Licensing, Central Government’s power to cause investigation, cancellation of contracts etc. Licensing is required to set up a new manufacturing/production unit, or manufacturing a new article, shifting location, carry on business, effecting Substantial Expansion etc. The Act gives Central Government power to fix the standard of production, prohibit any practice which reduce their production, take over management or control etc. It further specifies the power of the central government to investigate into the affairs of a company under liquidation, and that the central authority can make an application to the High Court praying for the re-starting of the industrial undertaking in interest of general public, production, supply and distribution of articles.
Section 18 mentions the power of person or body of persons appointed under section 15 to choose one or more person (with special knowledge relating to the case) to assist the investigation. The investigating officers has all the powers of a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and chapter XXXV of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898.
The Chapter IV includes miscellaneous topics such as powers of inspection by any person authorized by the central government, on its behalf, to have the right to
Enter and inspect the premises
Order to produce any document, book, register or record of the industrial activity
Examine any person who controls or is employed by the industrial undertaking
Section 20 states prohibits any state government or local authority to take over the management or control of any industrial undertaking under any law. Section 21 clarifies that the parliament would provide certain administrative expenses such as the salary, fees, etc. of the development council officers (who are appointed by the approval of central government).
Section 24 states the penalties in case of contravention or abetment of any of the mentioned sub-sections under the act to be the punishment with imprisonment extended up to 6 months or with a fine extended up to INR 5,000, or both.
Section 30 mentions the power of central government to make rules for the purpose of carrying out this act and that the contravention of any rule under this section is a punishable offence under section 24.
Section 31 clarifies that application of this law is in addition to any other central act (in force) which is related to scheduled industries.