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The manner of this reform has remained an issue of debate in policy circles, especially between the centre and states, as labour is a concurrent list subject, and any amendment to existing law by states requires presidential assent. This often creates frictions regarding details as seen in Rajasthan and madhya pradesh attempts towards labour laws regulations.Another debate is whether to consolidate and universalise labour laws or let them be sector specific eg. Plantation workers, mine workers, cigar workers and so on.Then there is the complex issue of labour law reform in SEZs which are hardly regulated and this has sometimes led to individual violence against managers as seen in maruti suzuki's plant on outskirts of Gurgaon
There are eight core ILO Conventions against forced labour. India refuses to ratify four of those: C87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention); C98 (the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention); C138 (Minimum Age Convention), and C182 (Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention). India also refuses to ratify another major convention, C131, or the Minimum Wage Fixing Convention.
The Annual Global Rights Index, published by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), rates 141 countries on 97 indicators derived from ILO standards. The rating is on a scale of 1 to 5-plus, based on the degree of respect accorded to workers’ rights. In 2015, India had a rating of 5, the second-worst category. It denotes “no guarantee of rights”. Despite being a constitutional democracy, on the matter of worker rights, India is in the same club as Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar, all dictatorships.
India's complicated labour law regime is in dire need of reform is an open secret. Industry players, Indian and foreign, who are desirous of being part of India's growth story make no bones about their objections to labour laws, which - (a) distort the labour market; (b) increase compliance costs for industries making business uncompetitive; and (c) hurt the Indian labour, in terms of employment, training and opportunities. The result - these laws instead of creating an atmosphere conducive for economic development, act as an impediment.