The Modi government intends to make labor reforms a priority in its second term, officials have said – something it failed to achieve during its first term.

When it assumed power in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) planned to amalgamate 44 national labor laws into four labor codes – on wages, industrial relations, social security, and welfare and occupational safety.

However, the government failed to convert any of the four code bills into laws as it could not get agreement from labor unions and industry representatives.

This time the government is keen to expedite the process early and immediately take at least three of the codes – on wages, industrial relations and social security – to cabinet for approval, the Business Standard has said.

During the first term the Modi government’s Code of Wages Bill was tabled in the lower house of Parliament, or Lok Sabha, and referred to a standing committee, but the bill lapsed.

Recently, the government’s National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) claimed that the country’s jobless rate reached a 45-year high in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

The report ought to have been released last December, but the government attempted to keep the findings under wraps. However, it was leaked to the press in February.

When the NDA government came to power in 2014, it promised to generate 20 million jobs a year and turn India into an economic powerhouse. Industrialists were also assured of a better investment climate.

However, the government failed to keep its promise on jobs. It is now reportedly keen to make amends.

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