The 2 day’,BRICS Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting began here this morning. Speaking at the inaugural session, Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, the Union Minister of State(IC) said that India is now in a position to ratify the ILO conventions 138 and 182 concerning Child Labour and has started the process in this direction. Two historic reforms have been introduced. India has put a complete ban on employment below 14 years of age and on employment in hazardous occupations below 18 years of age. In another significant step, the Government of India has presented the amendment to Maternity Benefit Act, raising the paid maternity benefit from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. The Bill has been passed by Rajya Sabha and it would we introduced in Lok Sabha in the Winter Session, 2016.Shri Dattatreya said, India is committed to inclusive growth so that the benefits reach the marginalized sections and they become integral to the growth process. With commitment to job security, wage security and social security for all, while employment generation is the prime goal, efforts are on at the same time, towards enhancing the welfare of workers through various initiatives, he added.Having unique advantage of significant set of common characteristics of labour market economic development as well as common challenges, BRICS forum endeavour to work for building responsible, inclusive and collective solutions to our common challenges in our respective national contexts and national sovereignty.
Expressing happiness over national social partners participation, the Minister said India strongly adhere to the ethos of tripartism.Earlier welcoming the delegates, Shri Shankar Aggarwal, Secretary Labour and Employment said that the deliberations during the forthcoming three Technical Sessions covering issues on employment, social security and inclusive development would be focused, constructive, fruitful and the presence of International Organizations would add value to the deliberations. Shri Aggarwal said that BRICS is a home to about 45% of the world’s economically active population. BRICS (including South Africa), the largest emerging markets-, need to develop in rapid strides. However, the growth so envisioned should lead to job creations and not jobless growth. Therefore, employment generation assumes significance in the overall theme of global development. Moreover, it is not enough to generate employment and needs to have an added dimension of ‘securing decent work to workers’. Strengthening of the employment track through the BRICS Employment Working Group will pave way for finding solutions to address employment and labour challenges that BRICS and a lot of other emerging economies face, he added.
During BRICS Labour & Employment Ministerial Meeting on September, 27th- 28th, 2016 in New Delhi, the Ministers will deliberate to adopt the BRICS Labour & Employment Ministerial Declaration. The two-day meeting will have dedicated sessions on key thematic areas, i) Employment Generation, ii) Social Security, iii) Inclusive Development Including Formalization. International Organizations viz. ILO, ISSA and Academia’s are also participating and providing their research inputs to the deliberation. Following the tripartite model of dialogue, the national social partners of BRICS countries are also participating in the deliberations.Mr. Antonio Jose Barreto De Araujo Junior, Vice Minister, Ministry of Labour from Brazil; Ms. Lubov Eltsova, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection from Russia; QiuXiaoping, Vice Minister, Ministry of Human Resources & Social Security from China; Ms. Mildred Nelisiwe Oliphant, Ministry of Labour from South Affrica; Mr. Guy Ryder, Director General, from ILO are leading their respective delegations.India has assumed the Presidency of BRICS in February, 2016 and hosting the 8th BRICS Summit 2016 under India’s Chairmanship scheduled to be held on 15th-16th October, 2016 at Goa. The theme of India’s BRICS Chairmanship is “Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions”.