Skip to main content

Industry body FICCI seeks stringent laws to deal with labour unrest, says it's No 1 risk to Indian economy

Counterview Desk
The Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (FICCI's) annual study, “India Risk Survey 2016”, has ranked strikes, closures and unrest as the most important risk affecting the Indian economy, even as ironically declaring at one place that “industrial strikes and lockouts showed a waning trend this year."
Claiming to have reached the conclusion on the basis of a survey of industry experts and government decision-makers, the survey encompasses 12 key risks that pose threats to the entire economic ecosystem of the country, the report says, strikes, closures and unrest was rated as the highest risk in all four zones – North, East, South and West.
Yet, ironically, the report says, in the first four months of 2015 there were 40 strikes and lockouts, as against 53 and 121 strikes and lockouts respectively during the same period in 2014 and for 2013.
“In terms of the number of workers joining the strikes”, the report says, “It has come down from a high of 1.81 million organised sector workers in 2003 to one million in 2014.”
Providing more data, the report says, “The provisional figures for the first four months of 2015 indicate that less than 100,000 workers were affected as a result of strikes and lockouts. For the same period, the mandays lost due to strikes and lockouts stand at 445,986, as compared to 1,129,425 in 2014.”
Calling “civic and labour unrest” an India-wide phenomenon, affecting “all sectors in varying degrees”, the report significantly suggests that it should be considered a crime punishable under the IPC.
It emphasizes: “A handicap in dealing with various forms of social strife is the nonexistence of a unified set of laws. At present, the laws to deal with communal incidences, caste agitations, and other forms of violent demonstrations are covered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).”
Seeking a “single and cohesive set of laws will help define the incidents and fix accountability at multiple levels, including the police”, the report says, “Most labour problems are a result of disputes over wages, working conditions or union representation.”
Calling India’s labour laws as “most stringent and complex in the world, complicating the regulatory environment for businesses”, the report says, “There are close to 44 central labour laws and above 100 state labour laws in the country, most of which are archaic in reference to a globalised economic perspective.”
Especially objecting to laws such as the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 and the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 and the the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947, the report says, the latter particularly “requires prior government permission to lay-off workers or close businesses employing more than 100 people.”
“Due to this”, the report underlines, “Businesses have found ways to circumvent these rules through contract workers, which is another point of conflict in the labour-employer ties.”
Insisting that social unrest is particularly affecting the Indian economy, the report says, “The defining event in this category has been the ongoing Jat agitation, demanding OBC reservation for the community in education and government jobs. The agitation during February 2016 alone caused economic losses worth Rs 34,000 crore.”
“Prior to the Jats, the Patels in Gujarat and Kapus in Andhra Pradesh had raised similar demands. Recent developments show that the issue of reservation is far from over. Along with the reservation agitations and resulting violence, social strife remains the most potent risk to business operations”, the report says.

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Despite crisis, Modi's Hindutva strategy 'increased' mass base in society and polity

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Narendra Modi and his RSS brethren can qualify as masters of fake claims. There is a long lists of lies spread by RSS, BJP and their IT cell workers. It is not a personality disorder or lying with fear. They are trained to defend Modi and his government’s decisions in whatever possible way. They defended demonetisation by arguing that it is “an important step” in his fight against black money and corruption.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”