Y K Modi elected on ILO governing body;wants Indian as DG

Y K Modi elected on ILO governing body;wants Indian as DG

Modi, past President of Ficci, will represent South Asia on the UN body as a voting member. The coveted position had earlier gone to Pakistan in 1990, following death of Naval Tata, who held the seat for 30 years in Geneva-based ILO.

With Modi, 62, having been elected to the position, India will have three votes on the 56-member governing body. Labour union INTUC and the government each have a seat on it. The governing body has 14 members each from the employers and 28 from different governments.

With the increased strength, Modi said, India should aim at the position of the Director General of ILO, which would be vacant in the next two years. "We should start working now itself," Modi told PTI. He said the labour issues in the west are different from those in the developing countries. "We should focus on job creation rather than unemployment. We do not want the European models," Modi said.

He said the work force in India, China and other emerging economies is willing to work hard and give the best of productivity. However, the labour laws in these countries need to change making them flexible, he said adding there is a misconception that change in the rules would encourage hire and fire.

"Industry needs people," he said. If one worker is asked to leave under a VRS (voluntary retirement scheme), several additional workers would be hired, Modi said. Modi said the rigidity in the labour laws is encouraging companies to recruit workforce on casual basis or contracts, especially in India. He would try and impress upon the ILO to influence the labour policies in the developing countries with a focus on job creation rather than unemployment.

Modi's comments coincide with the Indian government mulling flexible labour laws at least in the proposed National Manufacturing and Investment Zones (NMIZs).

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