Niti Aayog VC: Time has come to do more for informal sector workers than just signing ILO treaties

“We have too large informal sector (93 per cent of our workforce) in our economy where workers have no social security. Time has come to do much more (for informal sector workers) than signing ILO treaties,” he said

Rajiv Kumar, vice-chairman, Niti Aayog
Rajiv Kumar, vice-chairman, Niti Aayog

 

Rajiv Kumar, vice-chairman, Niti Aayog
Rajiv Kumar, vice-chairman, Niti Aayog

Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar on Thursday said India’s informal sector is too large and more needs to be done for workers employed in the segment, including giving them social security cover. “We have too large informal sector (93 per cent of our workforce) in our economy where workers have no social security.  “Time has come to do much more (for informal sector workers) than signing ILO treaties,” he said at an event organised by Bennett University’s Times School of Media.

Citing the recent example of thousands of migrant workers trying to rush back home after the imposition of the coronavirus lockdown, Kumar said, “Otherwise, we won’t be able to control migrant labour… which happened recently…Social security is crucial for all of us.”

Talking about medical education, the Niti Aayog vice chairman said India will have to devote a lot more resources for research in the field. “We need to get our act together… we need to revamp our public health system. We need to reduce cost of medical education. We don’t need to over-specialise our medical professionals,” Kumar emphasised.
“We have… neglected traditional medical disciplines like Ayurveda very very badly,” he added.

Speaking at the event, former chief economic advisor Arvind Virmani said the economic effect of the current lockdown is at 2.8 per cent of GDP.  Former finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said sectors like mining, manufacturing, construction, infrastructure, travel and tourism are badly hit.

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