Government concerned over fall in organised workforce: minister


Chennai : The central government was concerned over the one percent fall in the number of workers in the organised sector, Minister of State for Labour Oscar Fernandes said here Saturday.

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Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of Beacon 2008, a business ethics conference organised by Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA), he said: “Contract or temporary employment formats favoured by the corporate world would exclude large sections of populace from the definition of organised sector.”

He said the organised workforce in the country was six percent, down by one percent, in the last one year.

Earlier, while addressing the gathering he said only two percent out of 460 million labourers got enough training.

“In Europe, the trained workforce is around 60 percent and in the US it is 90 percent,” said Fernandes.

The central government under its Skill Mission would open 50,000 technical schools to train the unskilled workforce, he added.

Explaining the rationale for increasing the retirement age for some professions he said: “Young people are not willing to become scientists, teachers. There is going to be a shortfall in these vocations. In order to build up sufficient talent pool, the retirement age is increased by a couple of years.”

V. Leeladhar, deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), outlined measures taken by the banking sector towards financial inclusion of the disadvantaged sections of society.

“The no-frill saving account and issuance of general credit card and opening branches in unbanked areas are some such measures,” he cited.

He called upon the youth to work among the rural populace on the advantages of having a bank account and getting into the formal financial system.

The minister later released a book entitled “Capabilities and Social Justice – The Political Philosophy of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum”, authored by John M. Alexander.

Much to the delight and the surprise of the audience, Fernandes played a tune `Showers of Blessings’ with his mouth organ.