Following in the text of the Minister of State (IC) for Labour and Employment, Sri Bandaru Dattatraya speech at the meeting of BRICS heads of delegations to ILO Conference in Geneva on June, 2015
“Respected First Deputy Minister Mr. S.Velmyaykin,
Mr. Dias, Minister of Brazil,
Mr. Oliphant, Minister of South Africa,
Mr. Kong, Vice Minister of China,
Dear friends and colleagues,
- I am privileged to be here in the meeting of heads of delegations of BRICS Countries. At the outset, let me thank the Russian Deputy Minister for convening this. I also thank the Russian side for the Discussion Paper on Quality Jobs and Inclusive Employment Policies. We believe that the proposed topics for Ministerial discussion have significant relevance in the contemporary global economic scenario. We look forward to the discussion on creating quality and inclusive employment.
BRICS represent around 42% of world population and contribute 21.6% of World GDP and are considered as the new building blocks of the global economy. The forum of BRICS is emerging as a multiregional platform to strengthen common dialogue and cooperation in several policy areas. At the Fortaleza Summit, our leaders have agreed to explore new areas of cooperation to include Labour and Employment, Social Security, and Social Inclusion Public Policie. We must keep the momentum going and consolidate our common positioning on economic growth, job creation, decent work and social protection in one voice at this international foru
- For India, enhancing the employability of the youth through skill development and improving the participation of women in the work force are priority areas. My government believes in the importance of matching skills with the requirements of the labour market. Towards this objective, Honourable Prime Minister NarendraModijihas launched the Skill India Programme. The main goal of this programme is to create opportunities, space and scope for the development of the talents of the Indian youth and to develop more of those sectors which have already been put under skill development and also to identify new sectors for skill development. The Make In India Programme, launched recently is envisioned to create more decent jobs and improve the skills of the Indian workforce, while promoting investment and economic growth.
Social protection is one of the core areas in which the new government in India has focused. The Universal Account Number provided in the organized sector, allows portability of Employees’ Provident Fund Accounts. Portable universal account numbers have been allocated to 44.2 million active users of the EPFO. In the unorganized sector, the government has issued Social Security Cards. The Jan Dhan programme of financial inclusion is another major initiative of government of India whereby 140 million accounts of the labour force have been created. This would enable transfer of benefits directly to the accounts of the workforce.
- India is committed to creation of quality and inclusive employment. We believe that BRICS countries can go a long way through mutual cooperation in achieving this shared objective both within the Group as well as in the multilateral organizations such as ILO. We may work towards a formal endorsement of our future regular interactions in the next BRICS Summit at Ufa, Russia.
Countries support India's labour inspection reforms
The emphasis of the government is on quality and effectiveness of the labour inspection system rather than mere numbers. We want to bring in an efficient system of compliance for labour legislation with the help of information technology. This was stated by Shri Shankar Aggarwal, Secretary, Labour and Employment, Govt of India in the 104th International Labour Conference in Geneva. Responding to the observations of the Committee of Experts on Application of Conventions and Recommendations, he said that Government of India has taken a major good governance initiative to avoid malpractices in labour inspections. He reiterated that the rights of the inspection authority have not been curtailed at all. The phrase ‘end of Inspector Raj’ does not mean ‘end of inspection system’ but ending malpractices and arbitrariness in the current inspection system. Ministry of Labour and Employment is mandated to safeguard the interest of working class while promoting a conducive working environment for inclusive growth and industrial harmony. We are one of the fastest growing nations with the largest proportion of youth population. Therefore, creation of decent employment for all is the top priority for the government. This means that all avoidable transaction costs and in-efficiencies must be eliminated. Review and updating of labour laws is a continuous process in order to bring them in tune with the emerging needs of globalised and knowledge-based economy.India is a founding member of ILO and signatory to ILO conventions on labour inspection as well as tripartite consultation. All the proposed amendments to labour laws are being discussed threadbare in appropriate tripartite forums involving government, employers’ organizations and workers’ organizations, and only thereafter, amendments are carried forward.
The countries including Russia, China, Japan, Singapore, Iran, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Ghana, Venezuela Qatar, Fiji and others strongly supported India's stand. Countries appreciated the commitment of Indian government for social dialogue and decent work. India is the new investment destination of the world and good governance based on transparency, accountability and efficiency needs to be promoted. They were pleased to observe the new Government's initiatives for promoting an enabling environment for trade and industry by cutting the undue transaction costs for compliance of labour laws in a transparent and accountable manner.
The International Labour Conference of ILO is attended by 185 member countries and is the biggest international forum to discuss all the labour related issues. India is participating with a tripartite delegation led by Minister for Labour & Employment, Shri Bandaru Dattatreya.