News Highlights

Seminar by Dr.Vinoj Abraham

Commentary on India’s Economy and Society Series – No. 6

As part of the Commentary on India’s Economy and Society Series a seminar titled ‘A Review of the Impending Labour Market Reforms in India,’ was delivered by Dr Vinoj Abraham, Associate Professor, CDS at the Joan Robinson Hall, on 27 November, 2018.

Abstract: While all other input and output markets have been under reforms aimed at encouraging private investment and competition, the labour market had remained by and large untouched throughout the period since liberalization. It has been argued that the labour laws in the country had been an important impediment that stood in the way of efficient production and distribution of firms, and hence acted as an impediment to growth itself. Further, labour laws are considered detrimental to employment growth and labour market segmentation. Keeping this view largely in discussion, the government of India has embarked on wide-ranging reforms in the policies concerning labour. The labour code aims at two important changes, one is to make the labour policies comprehensible and the other is to introduce new social security policies that cover all workers. However, the impending labour reforms is being criticized as a ‘strawman’ to fight, such that the labour market reforms opens up ways for unbridled expansion of capital and self exploitative labour in the wake of heightened labour market flexibility that the reforms would provide. Within the larger question of labour market reforms another pertinent concern expressed is that of labour market information. Substantial changes is underway in the provisioning of labour market information and monitoring of labour markets The commentary would look into the debates around the proposed labour market reforms in India.