Monday, 13 April 2020 08:08

Amid an expected global downturn of economy following the COVID-19 pandemic and the related lockdown, the outlook for India has been particularly gloomy

New Delhi: The coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown has pushed the government to take the ordinance route to formulate three of the four labour codes it is planning. The codes have already been introduced in parliament. One of them - the code on wages, which clubs together the laws relating to minimum wages, bonus, equal remuneration and a few others - has already been passed. An Ordinance or executive order, will bring the other three into effect.


The ones pending are social security code - involving provident fund, insurance, maternity benefits and others - the industrial relations code that will combine laws on industrial disputes, trade unions and others,and the occupational health and safety code involving industrial safety and welfare laws.

In June last year, the government had decided to shrink the 40-odd labour laws to just four to help foreign companies to do business in India - a process that becomes crucial in view of the looming economic recession.

Amid an expected global downturn of economy following the COVID-19 pandemic and the related lockdown, the outlook for India has been particularly gloomy.

The World Bank has predicted that India will see growth of just 1.5-2.8 per cent in its current financial year -- down from an expected 4.8-5.0 per cent for the year just ended.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already hinted at keeping certain sectors out of the ambit of lockdown -- which is expected to be extended for another two weeks. In the next phase of the lockdown, both lives and economy need to be secured, he said on Saturday after meeting more than 10 Chief Minsters.

While the lockdown left millions of daily wage labourers - mostly in infrastructure sector -- jobless, pressure piled on sectors like pharmaceuticals. The huge demand for hydroxychloroquine alone is expected to keep the pharma companies very busy.

The government felt in view of the post-COVID-19 scenario, "this is necessary for both employers and employees," a source said.

Warning of many changes to come, PM Modi at a recent meeting with political leaders had spoken of a "pre-corona and post-corona" for times to come. "Massive behavioral, social and personal changes will have to take place," he reportedly said.

(NDTV)

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