Government to improve working and living conditions of unorganised workforce

  • Industry News
  • May 21,18
Minister of State for Labour and Employment (Independent Charge), Santosh Kumar Gangwar, said recently that the government was working on a policy to improve the working and living conditions of the 400 million labour force in the unorganised sector.
Government to improve working and living conditions of unorganised workforce

Minister of State for Labour and Employment (Independent Charge), Santosh Kumar Gangwar, said recently that the government was working on a policy to improve the working and living conditions of the 400 million labour force in the unorganised sector. The policy which will incorporate the suggestions of state labour ministers will emphasis on the health and social security of workers to optimise their contribution to the national economy. 
 
Addressing the 84th Annual General Meeting of the All India Organisation of Employers (AIOE), an affiliate of FICCI, the Minister said that harmonious industrial relations and social security for workers were the cornerstones for sustainable economic growth. In their context, the Minister said that the Code on Wages was being deliberated upon by the Standing Committee of Parliament and is expected to submit its report soon.
 
Minister Gangwar also presented the AIOE National Award for Outstanding Industrial Relations (2016-17) to Pricol Ltd., Coimbatore. The first runner-up award was given to Harrisons Malayalam ltd., Kochi and the second runner-up to ITC Paper Boards and Speciality Paper Division, Bhadrachalam.
 
Dagmar Walter, Director, ILO DWT for South Asia and Country Office for India, said that ILO's India Decent Work Programme was currently being finalised. The programme will set out the agenda for quality jobs with practices that lead to a greener world.
 
She said that, for developing skills to meet the requirements of future jobs in India, there was a need to impart and imbibe a culture of adaptability and empathy. She laid emphasis on prior-learning and a clear focus on cognitive and problem-solving skills. 
 
Gaurav Swarup, President, AIOE, pointed out that reforms in the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, need immediate attention. This can be done through bringing in an industrial relations code, which does away with the need for prior permission of the government for rationalisation measures and introducing a provision for strike notice. Also, contract labour legislation, the most contentious issue today, needs a re-look.
 
He said that employment generation which should have been spurred by these changes, is not gaining desired momentum. This is demonstrated by the fact that only 2 million jobs were generated in 2017, as against more than 11 million people joining the labour market. Furthermore, while the service sector is the main driver of economy in terms of its contribution to GDP, the existing labour laws are framed only to take care of the manufacturing sector. Besides, rigidity of the statutory framework and lack of skills impede the generation of service sector employment.

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