Acknowledging that some of India's labour laws have not yielded the expected results, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said there is a need to revisit some labour laws, which have hurt the growth of employment rather than enhancing it.
"We have enacted several progressive labour laws since independence and some even before that. But it appears that not all these laws have had the intended good effects that we would like to see on the ground," he said after inaugurating the 43rd session of the Indian Labour Conference in New Delhi.
"Is it possible that our best intentions for labour are not actually met by laws that sound progressive on paper, but end up hurting the very workers they are meant to protect?" he wondered in his address to the delegates, including representatives of trade unions, employees and employers.
Singh said there is a need to consider the possible role of some of the labour laws in "contributing to rigidities in the labour market which hurt the growth of employment".
On the inflation front, particularly in relation to food and essential commodities, the prime minister said the government was making serious efforts to moderate the inflation rate. "We have difficulties but we shall overcome," he said.
Noting that the government was keen on not only making growth faster but also more inclusive, he said, "There have been many successes in our initiatives for social and economic inclusion. But we need to do much more."
India's annual headline inflation eased slightly in October to a 10-month low, but at 8.58 per cent was still above the Reserve Bank of India's comfort zone. Food inflation, which has been in double digits for over three months, has been described by RBI as contributing to overall inflation.