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Impact of economic meltdown less severe in India, says ILO

Press Trust Of India  |  New Delhi 

The impact of the global economic meltdown would be less severe in India and other south Asian countries since they are less exposed to the US economy and the financial market, a top International Labour Organization (ILO) official has said.

Duncan Campbell, director of ILO’s Department of Economics and Labour market analysis, has also said that India should focus on imparting education to continue its growth in future.

“The effect of the economic downturn in India and south Asian countries would be less severe as they are less exposed to the US economy and the financial market,” Campbell told PTI.

The official said, “Progress could be halted if suitable education is not imparted now. In fact, in India only education can ensure equal distribution, access to economic opportunities and brisk growth path for everyone.”

The ILO in its recent report on Global Employment Trend had predicted a global job loss to the tune of 1.5 million in 2009 as a direct impact of the global financial meltdown.

Lauding India’s rural employment guarantee scheme, he said that the NREGA programme was helping in reducing poverty in the rural areas.

Stating that the level of social security in India is still “weak”, the official said that more than 75 per cent of India’s working population earns less than $2 per day.

“The time for India is to look inwards. Though it has achieved considerable reduction in the level of acute poverty, the economic crisis can result in increase in levels of working poverty in India,” he said.

Campbell was recently on a visit to India to form an inter-ministerial task force for promoting the concept of “green jobs” in the country.

“Recession is an opportunity for India to rethink the structure for future and the future for India is in green jobs. We are in consultation with ministries of Environment and Forest, Medium and Small Industries, Labour and Employment, Agriculture and others to arrive at certain common policy platforms on this,” Campbell said.

The official said that the observations about India are based on the fact that the level of stimulus package in the Indian economy had been much less when compared with other South Asian economies like China.

First Published: Mon, February 09 2009. 00:41 IST
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