Complying with labour regulations is identified as a major component constraining the business opportunities in Kerala. According to ‘Business Regulatory Environment for Manufacturing – State Level Assessment’, a report published by the Planning Commission in 2014, Kerala is in the bottom 33 percentile of states on labour parameter law related compliance, which is impacting the performance of manufacturing units. Many of the labour laws are archaic and have not been amended or reformed to foster a balance of labour priorities and business interests. Labour reforms are closely involved in ease of doing business, creating a habitat where jobs can be fostered. Labour reforms must be linked to worker benefits, while simultaneously easing the compliance burden on business enterprises.
CPPR will study the case of the Shops and Establishment Act, which is one of the major provisions covering small traders and business establishments. The Central Government has come out with a Model Act, which is being debated at the State level. Provisions related to registration, safety and security, working conditions etc have been objected by many states, including Kerala. The attempt is to understand reforms in labour in this context and assist the government to develop a suitable policy for the State, which could balance industrial development and labour welfare.
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