Invited Paper – Indian Journal of Industrial Relations

Transition to Labor Law Reform: State-Level Initiatives &Informal Sector Labor Relations
Hemal Shah, Scholar at the Takshashila Institution
The Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 50, No. 1, July 2014

Abstract
The 1991 economic reforms in India quadrupled growth, but kept good quality jobs stagnant. About 93 percent of the workforce is employed in the in- formal sector, holding back India’s growth potential. If India is to realize its full growth po- tential, reforming the heavily regulated labor market is indis- pensable. However, resistance from vested interests in an inflex- ible market and lack of political capital in New Delhi has con- tributed to more than six decades of impasse. This paper accounts for interests of all stakeholders in addressing this issue. The pa- per identifies best practices that individual states have under- taken to simplify labor laws to ease doing business and address the lack of skilled labor. It also identifies smaller reforms to ex- tend security coverage to infor- mal workers.

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The paper can be cited as Hemal Shah, “Transition to Labor Law Reform: State-Level Initiatives &Informal Sector Labor Relations,” The Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 50, No. 1, July 2014.