Impact of Global Financial Downturn and Comprehensive Package for Protection of Labour to be discussed at Indian Labour Conference
New Delhi. The 43rd Session of the Standing Labour Committee concluded today after day long deliberations amongst social partners identifying the following items for detailed discussion in the next Session of the Indian Labour Conference to be held later:- (i) Global Financial downturn - its impact - job losses - comprehensive package for protection of labour force, etc. (ii) Problems of contract labour - social security, wages, etc. and amendments in the contract labour legislations. (iii) Employment generation and skill development. The meeting also reviewed the Action Taken Report on the conclusions arrived at the 42nd Session of the Indian Labour Conference held earlier. The meeting presided over by Shri Mallikarjun Kharge, Union Minister for Labour and Employment was attended by senior representatives of Central Trade Union Organisations, Central Employer Organisations, Labour Ministers and senior officers from State Governments/UT Administrations and senior officers from Central Ministries/Departments. Labour Ministers from several States participated in the deliberations. Shri Harish Rawat, Minister of State for Labour & Employment was Co-Chairman of the meeting. In his Presidential address, Union Labour Minister highlighted the importance of social dialogue amongst tripartite constituents in shaping and influencing the labour policy in the country during the past six decades. He reiterated firm commitment of the present Government to further strengthen the spirit of social dialogue through collective wisdom to protect the interests of the labour and capital. The Minister also highlighted the importance of creating quality employment and equipping the labour force with sufficient/appropriate skills to suit the changing requirements of the industry. The government has initiated a number of steps to improve the skill endowment of the labour force. These include: the upgradation of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) into Centers of Excellence (CoEs) and the Skill Development Initiative (SDI) under which one million persons will be trained or their existing skills tested and certified under the Modular Employable Skills (MES). Shri Kharge also pointed out that, at this juncture, the guiding principle of government is to ensure that, while sustaining higher rates of economic growth, the improved performance of economy must contribute to employment generation, poverty reduction and human development. He said that the government is committed to provide appropriate social security measures for the deprived and marginalized segments of the workforce and society. The government has recently enacted “The Unorganised Workers Social Security Act, 2008”, which, inter-alia, provides formulation of welfare schemes aiming to provide social security benefits to workers in the unorganized sector. The “National Policy on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work” was also launched on the occasion. The Policy will help to generate awareness about HIV/AIDS, encourage action to prevent its spread and further improve and develop support and care initiatives at workplace. Earlier, in his address, Shri Harish Rawat, MOS(L&E) said that the waves of liberalization, privatization and globalization have substantially altered the structures of business processes and nature of employment and economic process over the years. These changes, he noted, have far reaching implications for social economic and human development of the country. He said that the process of social dialogue is pivotal in addressing effectively the challenges of change. He reiterated that the Ministry of Labour and Employment is always committed to promoting social dialogue to protect and safeguard the interest of workers. The meeting was attended by delegates from 12 Central Trade Union Organisations, 8 Central Organisations of Employers, 11 State Labour Ministers and senior officials from State Governments/UT Administrations and Central Ministries/Departments.