Joint Press Conference by Shri Bandaru Dattatreya and Mr. Guy Ryder, Director General of International Labour Organization held
Government of India is following the approach of ‘Reform to Transform’ through far-reaching structural reforms. Employment Generation is the first priority for Government of India. This was stated by Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, the Minister of State(IC) for Labour and Employment in a joint press conference with DG,ILO(International Labour Organisation) Shri Guy Ryder here today. India is working on a comprehensive strategy to bring employment to the core of development strategy, promoting industrial activity through Make in India, enhancing employability through Skill India and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship through Start up India. These are a few transformative initiatives that the existing government has taken.
The Minister said that India is very proactive voice on the international Labour Policy Forum. International Labour Conference 2015 adopted the Recommendation on Transition from Informal to Formal economy (R 204) aimed at facilitating the transition of workers and economic units from the informal to the formal economy with an overwhelming majority. The concept of ‘Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)’, which India is practicing, has also been acknowledged by the international forum as a powerful intervention for leading the transition.
He said India is actively engaged with other international forums like BRICS and G20 to address common issues faced by these nations in labour and employment sectors. BRICS brings together five major emerging economies, comprising 43% of the world population, having 37% of the world GDP and 17% share in the world trade. Starting essentially with economic issues of mutual interest, the agenda of BRICS meetings has considerably widened over the years to encompass topical global issues. BRICS cooperation has two pillars – consultation on issues of mutual interest through meetings of Leaders as well as at the level of Ministers.
India has assumed the presidency of BRICS, this year, the Minister informed. Labour & Employment pillar has newly been added to BRICS. The Ministerial level meeting of BRICS took place recently at the sidelines of International Labour Conference at Geneva. For the first time an Employment Working Group of BRICS has been constituted and the first meeting of the Group is scheduled to be held on 27-28, July, 2016 at Hyderabad, India. This will be followed by the Labour & Employment Ministers’ Meet in October 2016.
Shri Dattatreya said that the Ministry of Labour and Employment is committed towards job security, wage security and social security for each and every worker. The Ministry is working on reforms for bringing transparency and accountability in enforcement of Labour Laws. Simultaneously, the Ministry is making important initiatives to realize and establish the dignity and respect for each and every worker in the country through provision of social security and enhancing the avenues and quality of employment.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Guy Ryder, DG, ILO said that the World of Work is fast changing due to globalization, technological upgradation, geo-political situations for which collective responses and solutions needs to be taken by all the stake holders. India is the fastest growing economy, largest democracy and the youngest nation and is responsive to the challenges that new global order is throwing at . He said there is a very clearly detectable convergence in the priorities and ambitions of Indian government with the objectives of ILO. Indian Government is focussing on rural population and rural economy and expressed hope of success in these efforts, he added. Talking about India’s footprint on international labour policy he said that India is not only a founding member of ILO but a strong voice on the issues of Labour. Speaking of ILO’s role he said, the ILO can bring three ingredients to these efforts i.e. International experience, international labour standards and social dialogue. ILO as a 100-year-old organisation looks forward to strong and practical India leading in achieving ILO objectives. Sympathising with labour reforms, Mr.Guy Ryder said there is nothing negative or objectionable about labour reforms as per se. Labour laws that are easy to comprehend and easy to implement are need of the day. He said that the international community is coming closer and UN adopted development agenda for 2030 with 17 goals to be achieved and one of these commitment is decent work opportunities for all. Mr. Guy Ryder also responded to questions from media while interacting with them.
Mr. Guy Ryder, Director General, International Labour Organization (ILO) is on a five day visit to India from July 5-9, 2016, at the invitation of Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, the Minister of State (IC), Labour and Employment. The DG is participating in high-level discussions with Government officials and Social Partners. He had successful one-to-one meetings with the Prime Minister and the Minister of State (IC), Labour and Employment. ILO is the highest tripartite UN body on labour matters. Presently, 187 countries are members of ILO. India is a founding member of ILO and a permanent member of the Governing Body.
The visit of Mr. Guy Ryder, DG, ILO to India has come at an appropriate time. ILO is a think tank for many other international fora in their research activities. This visit of DG, ILO would be beneficial both to ILO as well India.