Labour Reforms in India: The Need for Refocusing Discourse and Policy
Authored By: Neymat Chadha and Jitendra Bisht
Edited By: Vaani Bhatnagar and Devashree Somani
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The issue of labour law reforms has been at the core of the conventional discourse on industrial investments and job creation in India, wherein these laws are seen as restrictive and complex. The series of labour law changes made by several state governments in May 2020 also had the rationale of driving industrial and employment growth in an economy hit by the Coronavirus-induced lockdown. This paper looks at the problems inherent in the current discourse on industrial growth and labour law reforms by analysing enterprise level data. It shows that the current labour law regime has a marginal impact on industrial growth as well as labour welfare. It further argues that there is a need to shift the focus of the current discourse from the issue of labour laws to longstanding structural issues affecting new industrial investments, job creation as well as formal employment in the country.