Economy

Centre to set up 1,500 ITIs to tackle skilled labour crunch

L.N. Revathy Coonoor | Updated on October 23, 2011

kharge   -  Business Line

The Union Minister for Labour and Employment, Mr Mallikarjun Kharge, today said that 1,500 ITI (technical institutes) have been proposed across the country to tackle skilled labour shortage in the XII Plan.

To a query from presspersons on wage board for journalists, he expressed the hope that it would be solved at the Cabinet meeting scheduled for October 25.

The issue would come up in the next Cabinet meeting on October 25, Mr Kharge told presspersons in an informal chat here.

Later speaking at the 118th Annual Conference of the United Planters' Association of Southern India, Mr Kharge, reiterated the importance of labour and said the manpower element is indispensable in any industry and more so in the labour-intensive plantation sector.

On the Minimum Wages Act, he said that it differed from State to State, and the State had the power to decide on the minimum wages.

“But due to acute shortage of labour, many States had started to amend the minimum wages. It is the responsibility of the State Government to protect the interest of the labourers.

The new generation aspire for white collared jobs and this is resulting in shortage of farm hands, particularly because of the shift that is taking place at present,” he said and assured that the Centre would take all possible steps to improve the plantation sector.

The Plantation Labour Act of 1951, he said was amended in 2010 to make it in tune with the present and was not aware of any shortcomings in the Act.

Ms P. Jayaprada, Member of Parliament, pledged the need for revising the Employment Act and said that she would take up this issue with the Centre.

Mr P. Viswanathan, Member of Parliament, in his address said that tea was neither categorised as agriculture nor industry. There is a need to place tea as an agro-based industry to derive the benefits of both.

He said that he has sought extension of the subsidy at enhanced rates for producing orthodox teas, extension of special purpose tea fund with increased cost-marking for proportionate subsidy element to raise subsidy whenever costs went up and not make SPTF as a requirement for granting subsidies.

Published on October 23, 2011

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