UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | Labour And Its Discontents | 13th August, 2022

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What the article is about:
  • The article talks about reforms in employment and labour policies for better employment opportunities for Indian population.
Relevance:
  • GS3: Industrial policies, Issues related to development, Government policies and Intervention.
 
Analysis:
  • The author says that, India’s gravest socio economic problem is the difficulty a vast majority of citizens have in earning good livelihood.
 
Issues with employment in India:
  • poor quality of employment.
  • insufficient and uncertain incomes.
  • poor working conditions.
  • The dominant “theory-in-use” for employment generation is to improve the ease of doing business, however, it isn’t that helpful on creating jobs.
 
Issues and impacts of the labour reforms:
  • V V Giri National Labour Institution’s Interim Report, “ Impact  assessment study of the labour reforms undertaken by the states”, provides insights into the impacts of the reforms so far.
  • The report mainly focused upon the reforms of the Industrial Disputes Act.
  • The report says that Labour laws are the only one factor affecting business investment decisions, investors don’t go out to hire people just because its east to fire them.
  • There is much more that is required, like growing market for enterprise’s products, capital, machinery, materials, land etc.
  • Reforms of labour laws have had little impact on increasing employment in large enterprises, its is evident from example of Rajasthan, the first state to implement the reform, seems to have benefited the least from them.
 
What should be done in order to increase employment opportunities:
  • Report shows that, administrative reforms helped more in increasing jobs that mere labour reforms.
  • Right to be heard, dignity at work and social security are minimal essentials in labour laws.
  • Fundamental reforms are need of the hour, as gap between where our economy is and where it needs to be is increasing.
 
Conclusion:
  • The primary purpose of labour laws is to protect workers, not promote the interests of investors, therefore the paradigm driving employment and labour policies must also be change to enable the generation of better quality livelihoods for Indian citizens now and in the future.



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