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Social justice, inclusive growth key Says Dattatreya at Geneva meet

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The productive relationship between India and ILO is as old as ILO and it is time for going together for social justice and inclusive growth, Indian Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya has said at an ILO Conference in Geneva in the presence of ILO Director General Guy Ryder.

Dattreya said that the unique tripartite forum which has been working towards its founding mission that social justice is essential to universal and lasting peace. We appreciate the way that ILO has adopted itself to the emerging challenges and concerns in the world of work.

India is one of the fastest growing nations of the world. We continue to maintain a high growth rate of 7.6 per cent in 2015-16. We have one of the biggest domestic markets and demand in our country. We understand our responsibility in the global order and are committed to work towards an equitable and inclusive society. The Government of India under the able guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is following the approach of Reform to Transform’ through far-reaching structural reforms. We are committed to job security, wage security and social security for each and every one.

Employment Generation is the first priority for Government of India. After going through a decade of jobless growth we are working on a comprehensive strategy to bring employment to the core of our development. Promoting industrial activity through Make in India, enhancing employability through Skill India and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship through Start up India, are a few examples of transformative initiative that my government has taken in last two years.

We have developed a National Career Service Portal to facilitate the youth to get information of availability of suitable jobs. 100 Model Career Centers are being established across the country that will guide youth of India to the employment opportunity and related career counseling. So far 35 million job seeking youth and 1 million employers have registered on this platform.

Social security for all continues to be the heart of our development goals and various initiatives by the Government at large and Ministry of Labour and Employment in particular are underway. While there has been a series of governance reforms in the delivery of service for organized worker, we have taken some game changing decisions to extend health care facilities for unorganized workers including voluntary workers, domestic and construction workers.

With a renewed commitment for eradication of bonded labour, we have escalated our Rehabilitation of Bonded Labour Scheme by increasing the quantum of financial assistance by 5 times from Rs. 20 thousands to minimum Rs. 100,000. This financial assistance is greater for the most deprived and marginalized and for women and minors and the money would remain in the annuity account thus ensuring a monthly earning that will flow to the beneficiary account for his/her comfortable living. Further, the revised scheme aims to address new forms of bondage such as organised begging rings, forced prostitution and child labour for which females, disabled and the trans-genders are mercilessly used by the powerful elements.  We are also strengthening the National Child Labour Protection (NCLP) project through appropriate coordination with states and increased budgetary support.

India’s massive financial inclusion program has enabled opening of over 200 million bank accounts for unbanked persons. India is using AADHAAR, a unique personal identification system, as a backbone for targeted delivery of financial subsidies and benefits. A 100 million such AADHAAR cards have been provided till date.

We look forward to the continued partnership with ILO for promoting the objectives of decent work and sustainable development goals. I wish ILO and its constituents a great success in their present and future endeavors. (NSS)

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