Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday held her fifth pre-Budget consultations with representatives of various trade unions and labour organisations.
She is likely to present her second Budget for the Modi 2.0 government in Parliament on 1 February. Participants shared their views on labour and employment issues including skilling, re-skilling and up-skilling of the existing labour force. Issues relating to the quality of job creation and ensuring minimum wages of workers were also discussed.
They also spoke about skill development in labour-intensive areas, alignment of skill development initiatives with cluster developments, creation of a dedicated fund for skill enhancement and allocation of more funds to MGNREGA scheme.
Participants said the number of days of work under MGNREGA should be increased. There should be legislation for various welfare schemes for permanent benefits.
Besides, a separate fund must be set up for the revival of job creation via micro, small and medium enterprises. Social sector spending should be increased, they said.
The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur, Finance Secretary Rajeev Kumar, Secretary at the Department of Economic Affairs Atanu Chakraborty, Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CBDT Chairman Pramod Chandra Mody, Chief Economic Advisor K V Subramanian, Secretary at the Ministry of Labour and Employment Heeralal Samariya, Director General of V V Giri National Labour Institute H Srinivas and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance.
Participating labour organisations included Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh, All India Central Council of Trade Unions, Federation of Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, All India National Trade Union Congress, Labour Progressive Federation, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Self Employed Women's Association, Federation of Association of Small Industries of India, Trade Union Coordination Centre, Vardhman Yarns and Threads Ltd and FICCI Assistant Secretary-General Pawan Kumar.