Govt to fast-track the National Employment Policy
As per the officials, the labour minister Santosh Gangwar has asked the officials to look at the employment policy while keeping in mind the challenges and disruptions that have occurred because of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Labour Ministry has decided to fast-track the proposed National Employment Policy (NEP). It aims at the formalization of the country’s 500 million workforce which includes migrants, to ensure social security and jobs.
As per the officials, the labour minister Santosh Gangwar has asked the officials to look at the employment policy while keeping in mind the challenges and disruptions that are thrown by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Employment Policy will layout the sectoral roadmap with incentives for employment generations that are based on recommendations of the Thawar Chand Gehlot-led group of ministers in the light of economic crisis because of COVID-19.
Objective of National Employment Policy:
The National Employment Policy aims at fulfilling two objectives:
• To create an enabling environment that will attract new enterprises and industries which in return will create employment opportunities.
• Improving the skill sets of the existing workforce to make it employable as India has been gearing up to attract new companies who are seeking to shift their manufacturing bases from China.
The proposal to bring the National Employment Policy was introduced in 2008. During the tenure of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), an inter-ministerial group had examined the proposal but nothing concrete had emerged from it. In 2016, the idea of NEP took shape at the first meeting of BRICS employment working group, after which the NDA government started to work on it. However, no progress has been seen after that either.
Indian economy had slowed down before COVID-19 but the ongoing pandemic has pushed it further into a recession. As per the data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the employment rate has touched as high as 23.5% in the two months of lockdown in April and May 2020.
Apart from this, CMIE has also estimated that 27 million youths in the age-group of 20-30 years have lost their jobs in April 2020 because of the lockdown. On speeding up the implementation of NEP, a government official mentioned that it is now a priority and policy will be formally introduced soon by the ministry.