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  • 16 January, 2020

  • 2 Min Read

Labour reforms

Syllabus subtopic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Prelims and Mains focus: about the bills and heir significance; concerns raised by various stakeholders

News: The government has hinted it will go slow on big-ticket labour reforms and will encourage a larger debate on proposed labour codes after a nationwide strike by workers drew millions last week.


The Industrial Relations Code 2019 and the Code on Social Security 2019, introduced in Parliament last month, have been forwarded to the standing committee on labour by the Lok Sabha Speaker for evaluation and suggestion, the ministry of labour and employment announced on Wednesday.

Why is govt. wary of going ahead with the reforms

  • Resistance from several quarters: Central trade unions went on a nationwide strike on 8 January and have warned of an intensified agitation at the state level and in industrial belts.

  • The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, which is linked to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, stayed out of the strike but had written on 28 November to the labour ministry accusing it of taking a “casual approach” to labour reforms.

  • Opposition political parties and trade unions have said that the government should not hurry in pushing its labour reform bills without a wide enough debate and discussion in the standing committee.

What next?

  • With Industrial Relations Code and the Code on Social Security now going to the standing committee, three of the proposed four labour codes are up for discussion at the Bhartruhari Mahtab-led parliamentary standing committee.

  • The other bill already with the committee is the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code. The government has merged 44 central laws into four labour codes.

  • Apart from these three, there is a code on wages that has already got parliamentary approval.

  • The standing committee is expected to submit the report in three months but is not bound to do so and can thus take more time to complete its consultations and give suggestions on what changes can be made in both the laws, said the official mentioned above.

Source: Livemint

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