India Rolls out Measures to Increase Job Creation ; Policy Changes Include Streamlined Work Rules and a Focus on Training

By Bagri, Neha Thirani | International New York Times, October 18, 2014 | Go to article overview

India Rolls out Measures to Increase Job Creation ; Policy Changes Include Streamlined Work Rules and a Focus on Training


Bagri, Neha Thirani, International New York Times


Changes are to include greater accountability in business inspections, simplification of reports on labor law compliance and a skills development program.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced labor reforms intended to simplify employment rules and give a lift to manufacturing and job creation.

"For the success of 'Make in India,' ease of doing business should be given priority," Mr. Modi, who was elected on a platform of development and job creation, said Thursday. Cumbersome labor regulations are among the biggest hurdles to setting up manufacturing in India, which fell to 134th place this year in a World Bank index of countries for doing business.

Mr. Modi said that there would be greater accountability in the inspections of businesses, which say inspectors with discretionary powers routinely harass them.

The Labor Ministry will also set up a website to allow companies to fill a single report for compliance with 16 labor laws. Mr. Modi said those initiatives were in line with his government's motto of "minimum government and maximum governance."

At the same time, Mr. Modi emphasized that labor issues needed to be seen from the perspective of workers and not industrialists. He announced a program for skills development, in which the Labor Ministry would finance the first two years of training for apprentices in manufacturing units.

He also promised easier portability of payroll-financed pension savings when people change jobs and move between states by using a universal account number. Because of the difficulty of transferring money, about $4. …

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