Melbourne, 11 September 2014: The Union Minister of Labour & Employment, Steel and Mines, Narendra Singh Tomar met the Director-General of International Labour Organisation (ILO), Guy Ryder, on the sidelines of the Labour and Employment Ministerial Conference of G20 nations at Melbourne, Australia on September 11, 2014.
Ryder appreciated the initiatives taken by the new Government under the leadership of Narendra Modi. He assured of continued technical support from ILO to India’s efforts.
Driving home the point that Asia-pacific region covers 60% of the global workforce but receives only 10% of resources, Tomar requested ILO Chief to allocate commensurate resources, both in terms of funds and ILO experts. Tomar sought ILO’s intervention in providing technical assistance to develop an appropriate methodology to construct a statistical database to capture the nature and composition of informal sector in India. He also urged Ryder to increase Indian representation at senior level in ILO.
Re-affirming India’s commitment to ILO’s Decent Work Agenda, Tomar elucidated multi-pronged measures undertaken by Government of India to that end. Chief among these is the pan-India multi-skilling programme, to tap country’s vast demographic dividend by augmenting youth employability. Vocational training has undergone complete overhaul, by moving from the conventional trade-based courses, to demand-driven and industry-oriented training, the latter resulting in assured employment for trainees. Tomar further informed DG, ILO that the Government is focused on speeding up transition from informal to formal employment, for which it is easing compliance laws for businesses, and reducing paperwork.
Elaborating on the slew of welfare schemes available to all segments of Indian workforce, organized and unorganized, such as Workers’ Social Security Act 2008 Rastriya Swasthya Bima Yojana and many other such schemes, Tomar remarked that convergence and simplification of schemes utilising Information Technology, is the need of the hour. In the new order, multiple schemes targeting the same section of population will be brought together on a single platform and millions of beneficiaries will avail of combined benefits by swiping a single card.