The recently released ‘working draft ’ of the World Bank’s flagship World Development Report (WDR) for this year neatly summarises what the world capitalist class is thinking – or should be thinking – about labour. Calling for a new social contract, the draft suggests that while income and social insurance can be provided by the state employers should be freed of this onus and allowed to abandon such ‘outdated’ concepts as minimum wage, long-term job security, protection from hire and fire, severance pay, doing away with ‘colonial era’ labour laws, and linking of wages to productivity. These suggestions are under a section subtitled ‘Protecting Workers’, in chapter six.
Replacing these fetters on the technology-driven, flexible work-based new economy will be some form of Universal Basic Income (UBI) and social insurance (not social security). One important factor that will help this system to work better will be detailed databases used to identify targeted populations for, say, electronic cash transfers.
Are you getting an eerie sense of déjà vu? Haven’t we Indians heard some of these things before? Yes, we have. Some of these elements were initiated by the previous Congress-led government, others have been energetically initiated by the current Modi govt.
Aadhaar is a massive database of people, linked to electronic cash transfers. It was a brainchild of the UPA burnished and expanded by Modi sarkar. UPA tinkered around with labour law reforms but then Modi has moved in with a whole new set of Labour Codes (still pending clearance), fixed-term employment with in-built hire-and-fire and replacement of social security benefits with insurance-based systems. State Govt. (Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Jharkhand) run by Modi’s party have gone further amending several labour laws to ease firing of workers.
Source: News Click