Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set in motion the first major revamp in decades of India’s archaic labor laws, part of a plan to revive the flagging economy, boost manufacturing and create millions of jobs.
Successive governments have agreed labor reform is critical to absorb 200 million Indians reaching working age over the next two decades, but fears of an ugly union-led backlash and partisan politics have prevented changes to free up labor markets.
Now, with the benefit of a single party majority in the lower house of parliament for the first time in 30 years, laws that date back to just after the end of British rule are set for an overhaul. Officials at the labor ministry say this is a top priority in the government’s first 100 days in office.
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