"It is not sufficient to reach to any conclusion about the workforce scenario. I don't believe that we can come to an unambiguous conclusion on the basis of NSSO data that what exactly is happening", he said addressing an ILO conference here.
"There is no adequate proof that government is doing a very good job and there is absolutely no doubt that government should actually do a much better job", he said.
According to the NSSO's 66 round of survey, during the period 2004-05 to 2009-10, the LFPRs (labour force participation rates) remained almost the same for rural males but decreased by about 6 percentage points for rural females.
It said during the period the LFPRs decreased by about one percentage point for the urban males and declined by about 3 percentage points for the urban females.
On the gender gap, Ahluwalia said: "The gender gap is narrowing but it is also true that it is not narrowing too fast enough. There is no bad news on the issue but there is not enough good news."
LFPR is defined as the number of 'persons-days' in the labour force per 1000 persons-days.
Stressing on the need for greater women participation in the workforce, he said, "Women are locked into the activities which are to be phased out...Women should move in the areas where employment is growing."
Citing the example of "Lizzat Papar", he suggested that the success of such ventures was possible before globalisation and now women is better skilled to take new jobs.
On the issue of women empowerment he said, "as far as government policy on the issue of women labour force employment and empowerment is concerned, we do regard that it is absolutely critical and we need to do much better job to eliminate the gender gap."
He said "women are everywhere but they are worse off. We have to take care of them. Their safety is also very critical".
"Some people think employment is only the way of earning money and if a family has a lot money then why should women work. It is important part of economic empowerment of women..so their employment is crucial," he added.
"Empowerment has to do with quality of employment as exercising one's rights is also very important", he opined.