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Question:

The following questions need to be answered based on the 3 articles that I’m going to attach, please make sure that the questions are answered are based on the readings and not on general knowledge or other sources unless they are academic or can support the idea presented. 

These are the questions:

1) Describe the shape of industrial labour market in India? What constitute the formal/informal sectors?

2) How would manufacturers interact with different parts of the Indian labour market?

3) What are the national and regional political interests for or against retail reform/liberalization in India?

4)Given the political climate, how much change would possible retail reform bring to India’s economy and politics?

Answer:

Describe the shape of industrial labor market in India? What constitute the formal/informal sectors?
            One of the most enduring characteristics of the Indian industrial labor is that majority of the employees work in the informal sector (Breman, 1999). Moreover, most of this informal-sector workforce comprises of people who have migrated from rural areas to urban areas. Most of the urban population, comprising of both the immigrants and the long-established residents, is excluded from the formal sector (Breman, 1999). At the same time, the size of the country’s industrial labor has been gradually increasing.

            With  an industrial labor market that has taken on such a shape, the main question that arises is on how this mass of people have been managing to earn a living. The answer to this question is that these people have been carrying out different types of work, which offer them little stability (Breman, 1999). It is normally difficult for these people to achieve greater stability even in situations where they engage in full-time, continuous forms of work.

Some of the people whose work is said to belong to the informal sector in India include shoe-cleaners, market vendors, porters, refuse collectors, barbers, tailors, whores, pimps, beggars, and drink sellers (Breman, 1999). On the other hand, the formal sector is characterized by greater organization. The formal sector is also associated with employment in big modern industries where security of employment is guaranteed (Singh, 1990). In the informal sector, security of employment is not guaranteed and working conditions are very poor.

How would manufacturers interact with different parts of the Indian labor market?
            According to (Singh, 1990), manufacturers interact with both the formal and informal sectors of the Indian labor market. During interactions with the formal sector, care is taken to ensure that all appropriate laws such as the Factories Act are adhered to (Breman, 1999). Moreover, proper remuneration is guaranteed. However, when interacting with the informal sector, where disorganization reigns, the manufacturers provide poor pay. The services sought from the informal sector largely relate to petty services and casual migrant labor.

What are the national and regional political interests for or against retail reform/liberalization in India?

One of the national political interests against retail liberalization in India is that the introduction of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is going to kill the country’s small-and medium-size retail enterprises (Chhibber & Sirnate, 2012). This has yielded stiff political opposition that continues to have a far-reaching effect on the country’s retail sector. Politicians also fear that liberalization of the retail sector will interrupt the way bureaucrats, local businesses, and politicians interact.

However, some bureaucrats disagree with this view, arguing that the retail sector continues to expand rapidly, and therefore there is sufficient room for all players in the field, both domestic and international (Chhibber & Sirnate, 2012). However, these bureaucrats fail to point out the effect the FDI normally has on the regional elites’ behavior. These regional elites have persistently opposed these reforms because of their impact on local political economy, particularly with regard to the issues of corruption and campaign financing.

Given the political climate, how much change would possible retail reform bring to India’s economy and politics?

            Given the contemporary Indian political climate, far-reaching changes would be introduced into the economic and political landscape of India following the introduction of retail reform. For instance, India would be forced to address fault-lines in her decision-making and consensus-building abilities (Tehelka.com, 2012). These weaknesses would most likely be addressed against the backdrop of coalition politics. Indian politicians, having presented a strong case in support of retail reform, would gain the much-needed experience and courage to face other weighty political and economic issues head-on. This would transform the country’s economy and politics.

            Enabling customers to have an international experience through retail reform would have far-reaching political and economic consequences. For retail companies, the long wait would end, thereby enabling them save the high costs of the delays (Tehelka.com, 2012). On the other hand, customers would derive many bottom-line benefits. Moreover, the FDI would improve the prospects of many Indians through job creation (Tehelka.com, 2012). Lastly, the political class would acquire a new sense of urgency in fixing the country’s labor laws. Indeed, the political class may embrace retail reform as a way of avoiding political backlash from the citizens.

 References

Breman, J. (1999). The study of industrial labor in post-colonial India–The informal sector: A concluding review. Contributions to Indian Sociology, Vol. 33, No. 17, pp. 407-431.

Chhibber, P. & Sirnate, V. (2012). Capturing the Kirana: Why Regional Political Elites are Refusing Retail Reform. The Indian Express, New Delhi.

Singh, M. (1990). The political economy of unorganized industry: A study of the labor process. Sage Publications, New Delhi.

Tehelka.com. (2012). A hot shop gone cold? Retrieved from http://tehelka.com/a-hot-shop-gone-cold/?singlepage=1  on March 1, 2013.

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