Ministry of Labour & Employment15-June, 2010 15:30 IST
Minister of Labour and Employment Shri Mallikarjun Kharge Says, India is in the Process of Formulating a National Employment Policy and Employment Creation Will be Mainstreamed into all Macroeconomic Decision Making in India

India is Focused on offering Opportunities to Young People and National Policy on Skill Development has set a Target of Training 500 Million Persons by 2022
Global recovery and growth in employment are the major policy challenges before the world. By joining forces amongst the comity of nations, we would be able to generate jobs and provide protection to the working class and vulnerable sections of the society. This was stated by Shri Mallikarjun Kharge, Minister of Labour and Employment, Government of India. The Minister was addressing the 99th Session of the International Labour Conference at Geneva. ILO General Assembly is being attended by 170 countries of the world in which political executives, trade unions and employers organizations are participating.

Shri Kharge pointed out that we are confronted with serious issues such as persistent high unemployment and poverty, danger of prolonged job deficit in view of the growing labour force, lack of social protection and unemployment. He mentioned that the Global jobs pact was heralded by the International Labour Conference last year as a policy response to the global financial and economic crisis. The Global jobs pact has put quality work at the heart of the recovery and has received support from the G-20 Leaders Summit in Pittsburgh and the G-20 Labour & Employment Ministers meeting in Washington DC.

Shri Kharge expressed the concern that though job growth has reappeared, global unemployment is still at record levels. He mentioned that we are all aware that there is no sustainable recovery without jobs recovery. The test we face today is to secure a strong, sustainable and balanced growth that leads to social stability provided by decent work for all. The 2008 Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization has been the compass which has guided our policies regarding promotion of social justice and a fair globalization.

Different countries have responded differently to the crisis due to their diverse socio-economic environment. India was among the first few countries in the world to implement a broad-based counter-cyclical policy package to respond to the negative fallout of the global slowdown. India responded to the challenge of minimizing the impact of crisis and shifted its policy stance from monetary tightening to monetary easing. Our policy response was aimed at enhancing the availability of credit at lower cost for financing economic activities.

Shri Kharge mentioned that India agreed with ILO that the size of the deficits and the level of debt will have to be brought down in an orderly manner. He mentioned that Governments are in agreement that exit strategies from stimulus packages need to be timed to ensure their link to an upswing in demand and growth. The Government of India believes that exit policies of various countries should be broadly coordinated, but not necessarily synchronized as each country has a different situation.

He appreciated that the ILO Report identifies a number of vital and converging objectives for an employment oriented agenda for recovery and growth. India has already made high employment creation a priority goal through Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act MNREGA, of which 52% are women beneficiaries. India is in the process of formulating a National Employment Policy and employment creation will be mainstreamed into all macroeconomic decision making in India. The National Employment policy will provide a holistic framework towards achieving the goal of remunerative and decent employment for all men and women in the labour force in a sustainable manner.

For the Government of India, inclusive development is an act of faith. In the last five years, Government of India has created entitlements backed by legal guarantees for an individual’s right to information and right to work. This has been followed-up with the enactment of the right to education in 2009-10. India is in the process of framing a Food Security Act to provide food security to vulnerable section of society.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 creates a framework for legal entitlements for all children in the age group of 6 to 14 years to education of good quality, based on principles of equity and non-discrimination. This Act will also create millions of jobs in the Education sector.

India is focused on offering opportunities to young people and National Policy on Skill Development has set a target of training 500 million persons by 2022. The Eleventh Five Year Plan of Govt. of India is keen on developing Labour intensive small and micro industries to encourage employment programmes for rural poor. The Eleventh Five year plan of our country aims to create 58 million new job opportunities during 2007-2012.

Shri Kharge told the Conference that India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, offering 100 days of employment per year to one person of every poor household is one of the largest programmes of this type which has spawned adoptions in other countries. Investment in infrastructure shows high employment multiplier effects. A labour intensive strategy also goes a long way in developing the rural economy. MNREGA is poised to promote Social capital formation as entitlements are conferred on the most vulnerable groups. MNREGA works have increased the inputs for improving productivity of land, created durable assets and rural connectivity. The choice of works suggested in the Act address causes of chronic poverty like drought, deforestation, soil erosion, so that the process of employment generation is on a sustainable basis. India has achieved similar success with RSBY-the National Health Insurance scheme for the unorganized sector workers.

Shri Kharge mentioned that India has already been taking substantial measures for increasing the coverage of social security at a fast pace. Securing a global recovery and increasing the employment content of growth are major policy challenges to which we all are called upon to contribute.

Shri Kharge appealed to all the countries to have the vision and dedication to contribute to an inclusive and sustainable globalization to overcome poverty, enhance growth with care for the vulnerable, and create individual opportunity and hope. India looks forward to strengthening policy coherence and working towards achieving Decent Work for all our brethren, he added.


(Release ID :62560)