45th Session of the Indian Labour Conference Concludes with A Resolve to Provide Universal Social Security Coverage and Assured Pension to the Entire Working Population
The 45th Session of the Indian Labour Conference (ILC) today concluded with a resolve to provide universal social security coverage and assured pension to the entire working population.
During the course of Conference the Labour Ministers of State Governments, Central Trade Union Leaders, Employers™ representatives, and Officials of the central and state governments also deliberated on four agenda items namely, (a) service conditions, wages and social security for various categories of workers employed in different Central and State Government schemes; (b) social security with special reference to Assured Pension with indexation for all workers including self-employed; (c) labour laws for MSME sector; (d) and measures to improve employment and employability.
Some of the salient points, which emerged during the two-days deliberations were extending social security benefits to all workers working under various government schemes and to regulate their service conditions. It was also suggested that these workers should be provided with basic amenities, suitable working place and right to organize and collective bargaining. The stakeholders also unanimously agreed for providing universal social security coverage and assured pension to the entire working population. Suggestions were also made for making pension benefits responsive to price rise and to enhance current government spending on social security measures. All the stakeholders recognized the enormous contribution of the MSME sector in terms of employment, export and economic growth and felt the need for simplification and consolidation of existing laws without compromising crucial aspects related to workers such as wages, social security and conditions of work. There were also suggestions by social partners to adequately focus on off-farm and on-farm sector and continued investment in infrastructure projects for enhancing employment opportunities. In context of skill development social partners recommended for strengthening Labour Market Information System (LMIS) to bridge the skill demand-supply mis-match, enhancing the outreach of and access to skill development centres, recognizing MSME enterprises as ˜on-the-job training centres and to put in place a National Skills Qualifications Framework to ensure quality assured training and facilitating horizontal and vertical mobility.
The concluding session was marked by the special address of Mr. Guy Ryder, Director General, International Labour Organisation (ILO), who reiterated to further the main aims of the ILO to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues. He recommitted to enhance the collaboration between India and ILO. He spoke about ILO and India™s common commitment to social justice and human dignity and India™s efforts to ensure that fruits of progress are shared by all.
Mr. Ryder Also spoke of India™s growing role in the global economy and making policies for job-rich growth a reality especially for youth and women. He also praised the performance of MGNREGA and termed it as a trend setter for the developing countries of entire world.
In his concluding remarks Union Labour & Employment Minster Shri Mallikarjun Kharge thanked all the participants for maintaining high tradition of successful social Dialogue. He said the issues highlighted by the Prime Minister in his inaugural address like skill development training; unorganized sector, migrant workers, female workers, etc. need our consistent efforts and full involvement.
Shri Kharge gave a brief account of the work done by the four committee™s set up for deliberations. He said the Conference Committee on Service conditions, wages and social security for various categories of workers employed in different Central Government and State Government schemes (Anganwadi, Mid-day meal, ASHA, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and other schemes) under various Ministeries of Central Government deliberated for extension of Social Security benefits under Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna and Aam Aadmi Bima Yojna to these workers. Moreover, it was also recommended that these categories of workers should be granted Right to Collective Bargaining. There have been other important recommendations by this Committee.
The Conference Committee on Social Security with special reference to Assured Pension with indexation for all workers including self-employed recommended that we should work towards the goal of universal social security coverage. EPS 1995 should, as a first step, assure a pension of Rs. 1000/-. It has also been recommended that Government should examine implementation of the ˜Right to Work™.
The Conference Committee on Labour Law for micro and small enterprises stressed on contribution of this sector to employment and economic growth and also for rationalization of labour laws. It also affirmed that implementation of labour laws like minimum wages should not be diluted.
The Conference Committee on Measures to improve employment and employability debated on further strengthening the skill development programmes. It also laid stress on continued investment in infrastructure development. Export oriented manufacturing should also be a focus area.
The Minister summed up with the assurance that his ministry (Ministry of Labour and Employment) will leave no stone unturned for successful implementation of the recommendations and together with our social partners work relentlessly towards the welfare of our working class.