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Government takes first step to recognise India's informal workforce

This would pace way for BJP-led NDA government to kick-start initiatives and policies that would help in smooth transition of informal workforce and economic units into formal workers.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 06, 2016, 03.36 PM IST
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This would pace way for BJP-led NDA government to kick-start initiatives and policies that would help in smooth transition of informal workforce and economic units into formal workers.
This would pace way for BJP-led NDA government to kick-start initiatives and policies that would help in smooth transition of informal workforce and economic units into formal workers.
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MUMBAI: The Cabinet has approved a proposal to adopt International Labour Organization (ILO) recommendations on formalizing the country's unorganised workforce. The initiative, which will be presented to parliament for approval, seeks to ensure the inclusion of such workers in the formal economy.

This will pave the way for the government to launch programmes that will help in a smooth transition. The scope of the task is vast--out of India's total workforce of more than 400 million, roughly 93% is in the unorganised sector.

The recommendation had been adopted at the June 2015 meeting of the International Labour Conference of the ILO in Geneva and was supported by India. Following this, the government will have to facilitate the transition of workers and economic units from the informal to the formal economy while respecting workers’ fundamental rights and promote creation, preservation and sustainability of enterprises and jobs in the formal economy. It will also seek to prevent formal economy jobs from turning into unorganised ones.

“There is no financial implication on India in adopting the ILO recommendation, which is applicable to all workers in the country which ratifies the instrument,” the government said in a release.

ILO conventions are international treaties, open for ratification by member countries on a voluntary basis. Once ratified, ILO conventions are legally binding.

Under Article 19 of the ILO constitution, each member state of the ILO is required to submit instruments adopted by the conference before the competent authority--the parliament in case of India--within a period of one year from the closing session of the conference.
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