With labour reforms facing stiff resistance from trade unions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said changes in the laws will be carried out through consensus and in consultation with them.
Inaugurating the 46th Indian Labour Conference here, he said "changes in the labour laws will be made with the concurrence of the unions and the consultation process will continue".
The government has set up a high-level inter-ministerial committee under Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to hold discussions with the unions on issues concerning labour. The committee held its first meeting yesterday during which host of labour related issues were discussed.
Talking about different interest groups, Modi said that there was a thin line dividing the interest of industry and industrialists, government and nation, and labour and labour organisations.
Often one talks about saving the industry but end up protecting industrialists, he said, adding there was a need to recognise this thin line and adopt a balanced approach to the deal with the issues and change the environment.
The Prime Minister also regretted that the number of apprentices in the country was very low and asked the industry to provide more opportunities to them with a view to increase their numbers from three lakh to at least 20 lakh.
The number of apprentices in China is two crore, Japan one crore and Germany 30 lakh as against only three lakh in India, he said.
"If we want to move ahead, we need to give opportunities to our youth. Giving opportunities to apprentices is the need of the hour," Modi said, adding there was a need to focus on people who are unemployed.
Raising the labour issues, BJP-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh president and Vice-Chairman of 46th ILC, B N Rai said that rapid economic growth should not be at the cost of the workers.