Labor laws in India have failed to meet their stated objectives. An overwhelming majority of labor in India works in the informal sector without adequate social security. Simultaneously, the inflexibility of labor regulation prevents Indian firms from growing, and as some argue, incentivizes investments in capital at the cost of labor. How should we consider the available evidence of labor law rigidity to make meaningful reforms? Which specific reforms are required to help India return to pre-lockdown employment trends, while also benefitting the country in the long run? How should the government implement specific reforms and how will state capacity constraints impact India’s ability to reform its labor regulations?

Join us for the sixth edition of the Political Economy Seminar Series with Rana Hasan, K.P. Krishnan, Shruti Rajagopalan and Manish Sabharwal for a discussion on the need for labor reform and the impact of labor laws on economic growth and labor welfare. The discussion will be moderated by Anirudh Burman.

To submit a question for the event, please email Participants may also submit their questions through the Q&A box in the Zoom webinar or the comments section on our YouTube livestream.


Rana Hasan

Rana Hasan is a director in the Asian Development Bank’s Economic Research and Regional Coordination Department. His research areas and interests include industrial development, labor economics, poverty and inequality, and urban economics.

K.P. Krishnan

K.P. Krishnan is the chairman of the committee constituted by the government of India to propose the legal framework for cross border insolvency. After serving in various positions in the government of Karnataka, Government of India and the World Bank, he retired from the Indian Administrative Service as secretary in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

Shruti Rajagopalan

Shruti Rajagopalan is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and a fellow at the Classical Liberal Institute at NYU School of Law. She is also an associate professor of economics at State University of New York, Purchase College.

Manish Sabharwal

Manish Sabharwal is chairman and co-founder of Teamlease Services, one of India’s leading staffing and human capital firms. Teamlease is also implementing India’s first vocational university and national PPP apprenticeship program. The company has hired 1.8 million employees over the last 15 years.


Anirudh Burman

Anirudh Burman is an associate fellow at Carnegie India. He works on key issues relating to public institutions, public administration, the administrative and regulatory state, and state capacity.