India should continue its social policies like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), the head of the ILO said, describing such measures as a “remarkable positive” trend in reaching the most distressed sections of the society.
“Social policy is a matter of great concern in India and the (new) government must pursue policies adopted by the previous government like the guaranteed employment for certain days for rural poor,” Guy Ryder, the Director General of International Labour Organisation (ILO), said.
Ryder called the MGNREGS, which guarantees at least 100 days of employment a year to at least one member of every rural household, as setting a remarkable positive trend in reaching the most distressed sections of the population.
“I think we have seen some remarkable positive results from the National Rural Employment Guarantee programme which provided employment for a minimum number of days to rural poor and other vulnerable sections of the Indian society,” the ILO chief said.
“I hope in whatever form the government seeks to pursue it, it will be continued in the future,” Ryder told reporters.
The MGNREGS was introduced by the previous Congress-led UPA government.
Ryder said, “The world is reeling from excesses of inequalities. There is massive human waste, misery and suffering. Not just the fear of (economic) instability should be the imperative for addressing unemployment.”
Inequality has reached levels where it blocks social mobility, he said, adding the situation is dire for South Asia.
The region faces a huge challenge of jobless growthâ€”an annual average economic growth of 6.1 per cent from 2009 to 2014 corresponded to employment expansion of only 1.4 per cent for the same period, according to the World Employment Social Outlook report compiled by ILO.
With the exception of Nepal, most South Asian countries face an additional challenge of low labour force participation for women, it said.