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India needs policies focusing on job-rich growth and equality: ILO chief

  • Published
    12th Dec, 2022

International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General Gilbert Houngbo has said that India should focus on job-rich growth and equality to address the crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic and Ukraine situation.


  • In concluding remarks at the 17th Asia Pacific Regional Meeting (APRM) of the International Labour Organization (ILO), ILO Director-General has said that the member countries to:
  • Ensure greater policy coherence among multilateral, regional and national stakeholders.
  • Channel the collective efforts and resources to achieve social justice and decent work for all.
  • Develop institutional frameworks to support transitions towards formality and decent work.
  • Strengthen the foundations for social and employment protection and resilience.
  • Revitalize productivity growth and skills.

Consequences of COVID-19 in India:

  • Income and food price spike: It caused substantial income losses and food price spikes.
  • Low-income households: They barely maintained their subsistence household expenditure.
  • Engel’s law: Share of food expenditure rises as income falls. Further aggravated by food price spikes.
  • Impact on socialization: Due to budget constraints: A higher share of food expenditure is expected to lower that of socializing expenditure.
  • Slow Recovery: It might increase inequality in India.
  • India needs policies focusing on job-rich growth and equality.
  • By focusing on job-rich growth and equality, India can move forward further.

Impact of Ukraine-Russia conflict:

  • It has resulted in causing inflation and an energy crisis.
  • Those who are paying the price for this are those who have nothing to do with this crisis.
  • Low-paid citizens are left behind, particularly because of inflation.
  • They are forced to spend a big amount of proportion of their salaries on basic needs.

Inclusive Growth:

  • Inclusive growth means economic growth that creates employment opportunities and helps in reducing poverty. Elements of Inclusive Growth are:
  • Skill Development: Harnessing the demographic dividend will depend upon the employability of the working-age population, their health, education, vocational training and skills. Skill development plays a key role here.
  • Financial Inclusion: Financial Inclusion is the process of ensuring access to financial services to vulnerable groups at affordable costs.
  • Technological Advancement: The world is moving towards an era of Industrial Revolution 4.0. These technological advancements have capabilities to both decrease or increase inequality depending on the way these are being used.
  • Economic Growth: India is among the fastest-growing major economies in the world. However, currently Indian economy is facing a slowdown due to cyclic and structural challenges.
  • Social Development: It means empowering all marginalised sections of the population like SC/ST/OBC/Minorities, women and transgenders.

India's Employment Trend:

  • Agriculture: There’s been a reversal of the trend in the last two years. This has primarily to do with the Covid-induced economic disruptions.
  • Service Sector: The services sector does include relatively well-paying industries such as information technology, business process outsourcing, telecommunications, finance, healthcare, education and public administration.
    • The bulk of the jobs, in this case, is in petty retailing, small eateries, domestic help, sanitation, security staffing, transport and similar other informal economic activities.
  • Manufacturing Sector: The share of manufacturing (and mining) in total employment has fallen along with that of agriculture.

Major Causes of Unemployment in India:

  • Social Factors
  • Rapid Growth of Population
  • The dominance of Agriculture
  • Fall of Cottage and Small Industries
  • Immobility of Labour
  • Defects in Education System

Key Findings of the PLFS (July-September 2022):

  • Unemployment Ratio: The unemployment rate was 6.6% for men and 9.4% for women (9.3% and 11.6% in July-September 2021).
  • Worker-Population Ratio (WPR): The WPR among men was 68.6% and 19.7% among women (66.6% and 17.6% in 2021).
  • Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR): The LFPR among men was 73.4% and 21.7% among women (73.5% and 19.9%, in July-September 2021).

Government’s Initiatives:

  • Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise (SMILE)
  • PM-DAKSH (Pradhan Mantri Dakshta Aur Kushalta Sampann Hitgrahi)
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)
  • Start-Up India Scheme
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