Budget 2024 likely to decriminalize various offences under Labour Laws

Budget 2024 likely to decriminalize various offences under Labour Laws
The proposal to decriminalize offences under Labour Laws is a welcome step because the constant fear of penalties/prosecution deters prospective business growth. The very process of ensuring compliance hinders the ease of doing business. Should the policy of laissez-faire be not adopted for the rapid industrial growth of the country? This article seeks to answer these questions on the new labour codes, which have been kept in cold storage despite Parliamentary enactment getting Presidential assent.

As per a recent news report of 23rd November 2023 in a financial news platform Money Control, the 2024 Budget – in its bid to improve the ease of doing business in the Country – is set to decriminalize various offences under Labour Laws. It is an open secret that Labour Laws account for the lion’s share of the criminal provisions across all economic and regulatory laws (68.2%). India is one of the largest workforces in the world. At the same time, India is set to become a nation with the highest annual FDI inflow.

Indeed, for many MNCs and foreign companies, India ostensibly seems to be a gold mine – with cheap labour, and low production costs – they seem to be getting the best of both worlds. While decriminalizing major labour laws would be a laudable step, the question is will it make any tangible change on the ground? No doubt, reducing or even removing penalties altogether will save employers from quite a bit of prosecution – practically, however, it is not the consequence of non-compliance, but the ‘manner in which they are...

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Yajat Kumar

is currently studying at University School of Law and Legal Studies, GGSIPU, New Delhi

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Yajat Kumar

is currently studying at University School of Law and Legal Studies, GGSIPU, New Delhi

March 2024

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