Gig Economy in India: Scope for Policy Regulations & Interventions

The COVID crisis has brought out one of the major downsides of the gig economy. With the current model that majorly favors the employers and has no protection for the employee in times of crisis, it is uncertain that the gig economy can survive without major policy interventions regarding incentives for employees and regulations for employers. For the gig economy to flourish sustainably in India, an affirmative policy push is required in the direction of providing a fiscal stimulus by bringing in some characters of the ‘minimum rights approach’ of the EU. With the COVID crisis leading to the loss of physical jobs and questioning the nature of work, it seems like an apt juncture to find the right amount of regulation for the gig economy in India. (more…)

Role of Skill Development in India’s Future: Assessing the India Skills Report, 2019

India, one of the most populous countries in the world, can accrue a lot of benefits from its labor market. There lies the immense potential for India to be the largest provider of skilled labor to the world. After opening up the economy, the Government realized the significance of skill development in the country, as it plays a significant role in increasing employment opportunities for the population.   (more…)

“Respect” as Income Support? The Case of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi

The Kisan Long March of 2018 brought the grave situation of agrarian distress to the fore and built a consensus demanding policy intervention. Thus, the announcement of the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme (PM- KISAN) came as a form of confirmation of the ongoing agrarian crisis. The sixth installment of the scheme was rolled out by the Government from 1st August 2020. This Central scheme was announced in 2018 to benefit 14 crore small and marginal farmers with direct cash transfers of more than 75,000 crore rupees. Under this scheme, small and marginal farmers holding not more than 2 hectares of land are entitled to receive Rs 6,000 a year in 3 installments. After 2 cycles of the scheme being complete, it is important to look into its success and what it has been able to achieve in real terms.  (more…)

Need for Modifications in the provisions of The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020

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The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 was introduced in the Parliament on 17th September 2020 by the Minister of Agriculture and Farmers welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar and signed by President Ram Nath Kovind on 27th September 2020. The Act is meant to provide a national framework for agreements concerned with farming and protect farmers in their agreements with companies, retailers, and wholesalers. The Act is also meant to help the farmers with the sale of their produce at a mutually agreed remunerative price in a fair and transparent manner. An important provision in the Act is the promotion and facilitation of direct and online trade of farmers’ produce. (more…)

Need for modifications in the provisions of the Code on Social Security, 2020

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The Code on Social Security, 2020, widens the ambit of social security policies by including employees and workers of both organised and unorganised sectors, which is a crucial step in the right direction for ensuring social security for all. The Code promises to pioneer the rights of employees in a sector agnostic manner by extending effective policies for guaranteeing social security. While it has paved the way for affecting the much needed change in India’s social security policies, there is scope for improving the language of the provisions of the Code for ensuring that it achieves the desired results. In the absence of such modifications in the specific provisions, it runs the risk of misinterpretation which can adversely impact the same rights that the Code otherwise sets out to reinforce. (more…)

Need for modifications in the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020

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The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 was promulgated on June 5th 2020 (as an ordinance), along with two other Bills together constituting the three agricultural laws passed by the government. This law amended the existing Act by removing and deregulating commodities like potatoes, onions, edible oilseeds, cereals, pulses and oils from the list of essential commodities. As an outcome, their supply will now be regulated by the Central Government only under extraordinary circumstances and stock limits will be imposed only in case of 100% and 50% increase in rates of horticultural products and non-perishable agricultural products respectively. The subsequent Bill was cleared in the Rajya Sabha on 19the September, 2020 to become an Act.  (more…)

A much needed rehaul for India’s Agricultural Policies?

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On 27th September 2020, the Government of India brought in the Farmers’ Produce and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 (hereinafter, referred to as the Act) which introduced a pivotal change in India’s agricultural policies. The Act, essentially, aims to provide freedom of choice to the farmers and traders in selling and purchasing farmers’ produce through alternative trading channels and increasing competition in the market. Thus, it allows for barrier-free trade of farmers’ produce outside the physical premises of the markets notified under the various State Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee laws (APMC laws).  (more…)

The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2019: Dodged prerogatives or short-sighted policies?

Introduced in July 2019 in the Lok Sabha as one of the four Codes aimed at labour reforms, the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code embodies an amalgam of provisions relating to safety, health, welfare and working conditions of workers by a merger of thirteen major Central laws. Abiding by the constitutional guarantees under Articles 24, 39 (e & f) and 42 and in the wake of the fatalities caused by industrial accidents and inhumane work conditions, this Code assumes great significance in laying down duties and rights of employees and their employers.  (more…)

India’s Tourism Industry in times of COVID-19: Policies for a Prospective Revival

It has been over six months since the first case of coronavirus was detected in India, and almost four months since it was declared as a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation. A virus classified as ‘quite deadly’ stands to affect close to 50 thousand Indians, with above 10 thousand cases of recovered patients and over 2000 deaths. This is the largest pandemic to hit the globe in a century and that is why its impact is not solely concentrated on the health sector and its response but is most certainly going to involve a large toll on major sectors of economy including tourism. (more…)