Covid-19 Crisis: An Indictment of India’s Informal Economy

Jenny Sulfath and Balu Sunilraj
Centre for Equity Studies

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This paper attempts to look at the ways informality is conceptualized in India and argues that the problems with the laws pertaining to informal labour are not simply an implementation issue, but the design of the labour laws itself exclude informal labour. While reviewing the history of labour laws in India and the social history of labour participation, the paper also examines the current change in the political approach to labour by changing the labour laws in the pretext of the pandemic. Focussing on the changes made in labour laws in Madhya Pradesh the paper argues that these changes would further informalise the workers intensifying the crisis.

Keywords: Covid19, informal employment, Madhya Pradesh, labour laws

Suggested citation:
Sulfath Jenny and Balu Sunilraj. 2021. “Covid-19 Crisis: An Indictment of India’s Informal Economy”, Centre for Sustainable Employment Working Paper #39, Azim Premji University, Bangalore.