Flexible workplaces, work-from-home ecosystem are the needs of future: PM Modi
The future would require flexible workplaces, a work-from-home ecosystem, and flexible work hours, said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday while highlighting the importance of the labour force in India's development.
"India's labour force has a huge role to play in realising India's dreams and aspirations to build a developed nation in the Amrit Kaal," Prime Minister Modi said in a video address to the National Conference of the Labour Ministers of all States and Union Territories. "With this thinking, the country is working continuously for crores of workers from the organised and unorganised sectors," he added.
The PM reaffirmed several government initiatives, including the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, and Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan Yojana, which have provided some level of social security protection to the workforce. These programmes have given the workers the assurance that their labour and contribution will be valued.
“The Emergency Credit Guarantee Scheme, according to a study, saved 1.5 crore jobs during the pandemic. We are seeing that just as the country supported its workers in their time of need, in the same way, the workers have put their full strength into recovering from this epidemic,” he said.
The e-Shram portal is one of the primary initiatives to include the labour force in the scope of social security, the prime minister noted. About 28 crore workers from 400 areas have enrolled on the portal in only one year. Construction workers, migratory labourers, and domestic employees have profited most from this. He asked all the ministers to link the e-Shram portal to the state portals.
He added that over the past eight years, the government has taken steps to repeal legislation from the era of slavery that still represent the old mindset. The nation is currently updating, streamlining, and altering such labour legislation. In light of this, four straightforward labour codes have been created from 29 labour laws. This will guarantee the empowerment of workers via minimum wages, job security, social security, and health security,” he added.
The Prime Minister emphasised the necessity for reform in light of the international scenario. He stressed on the necessity of making quick judgments and acting quickly on them in order to fully benefit from the fourth industrial revolution. Modi emphasised the need to be aware of the changing nature of labour in light of platform, gig, and online facilities. According to him, "appropriate policies and initiatives in this field can help India become a worldwide leader."
“The future needs flexible workplaces, a work-from-home ecosystem, and flexible work hours. We can use systems like flexible workplaces as opportunities for women’s labour force participation,” he said.
The PM recalled his demand for the full engagement of the country's women power in his address to the nation on August 15 from the ramparts of the Red Fort. "India can attain its goals faster by using women's power in the proper way," he said. Modi also emphasised the need to consider what may be done to support women in the nation's developing sectors.
He mentioned India's demographic dividend and stated that how effectively it is utilised will determine India's success in the twenty-first century. He continued, "By developing a highly qualified workforce, we can take advantage of global prospects." Modi also emphasised that India is entering into collaboration agreements about migration and mobility with many nations across the world and asked all the states in the country to take advantage of these opportunities. He said, "We need to work harder and share our knowledge with one another."
The Prime Minister asked everyone in attendance to take full advantage of the "cess" that has been planned for them while reminding everyone that our building and construction workers are an essential element of our workforce. He stated, "I have been informed that the states have not yet used nearly Rs 38,000 crore of this cess."
He advised everyone to consider how ESIC and the Ayushman Bharat programme may help an increasing number of workers.
On August 25 and 26, at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, the two-day conference was organised by the Union ministry of labour and employment in the cooperative federalist spirit to discuss important labor-related issues.