India & Afghanistan signs MOU for public sector capacity development

India and Afghanistan today entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for implementation of a twinning arrangement for public sector capacity development in Afghanistan. Under it both the countries will co-operate in the field of public sector capacity development in accordance with the applicable domestic law in force in the respective countries in which the activities are undertaken. The MoU was signed by the Union Labour & Employment Minister Shri Mallikarjun Kharge with his counterpart Ms. Amena Afzali Minister of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Welcoming the Afghanistan delegation Shri Mallikarjun Khage said India and Afghanistan share warm and cordial relations based on historical and cultural links and this relationship spans over centuries.

Referring to the recent visit of Afghanistan President Karzai the minister said there arwe around 4000 Indians in Afghanistan engaged in the task of rebuilding the country both through Government of India projects and private sector initiatives. The VV Giri National Labour Institute (VVGNLI) has been organising various training programmes for Afghan officials.

He said areas for further technical cooperation between VVGNLI and Government of Afghanistan can include: (a) Programmes similar to those being organised currently which can be conducted for different groups of social partners (b) capacity building programmes for the labour administrators which can be developed and organised by the VVGNLI for Afghanistan labour administrators. These programmes could focus on themes like industrial relations, social security, child labour and gender issues in labour market (c) Our institute could help the Afghanistan Government in developing a Labour Institute in Afghanistan which could provide technical expertise in designing research studies to be under taken in the areas of labour and employment there and can also organize courses on research methods in labour studies. India can share the details of its various schemes in the area of skill development, Health insurance, Social Security, OSH etc, Shri Kharge added.

Shri Kharge expressed the hope that the current MoU will go a long way in bringing about improvements in the various matters related to the World of Work in Afghanistan.

As per the MoU the cost to carry out the activities under this Agreement shall be met out of National Institution Building Project (NIBP) funds mobilized from different resources. The scope of this twinning Agreement includes Provision of advisory services for supporting policy and strategy development and systems improvement in accordance with identified needs of Afghanistan for assessments, capacity development, policy development and other advisory services including services of technical experts for specific identified needs.

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