8th Five Year Plan (Vol-2)
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Agricultural and Allied Activities || Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation || Irrigation, Command Area Development and Flood Control || Environment and Forests || Industry and Minerals || Village and Small Industries and Food Processing Industries || Labour and Labour Welfare || Energy || Transport || Communication, Information and Broadcasting || Education, Culture and Sports || Health and Family Welfare || Urban Development || Housing, Water Supply and Sanitation || Social Welfare || Welfare and Development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes || Special Area Development Programmes || Science and Technology || Plan Implementation and Evaluation


Objectives and Thrust

7.1.1 Improvement in the quality of labour, productivity, skills and working conditions and provision of welfare and social security measures, especially of those working in the unorganised sector,are crucial elements of the strategy for quantitative and qualitative enhancement of employment opportunities. The programmes in the sector " Labour and Labour Welfare', therefore, lay emphasis on skill formation and development, strengthening and modernisation of employment service, promotion of industrial and mines safety, workers' education, promotion of self-employment, rehabilitation of bonded labour, enforcement of labour laws especially those relating to unorganised labour and women and child labour, promotion of a healthy industrial relations situation and encouragement of workers' participation in management.

Vocational Training

7.2.1 Craftsmen Training and Apprenticeship are two major programmes of skill development designed to meet the diverse skill needs of the economy. At present, a network of 2,240 Industrial Training Institutes/Centres (ITls/ITCs), with an intake capacity of 3.70 lakhs is imparting training in 40 engineering and 27 non-engineering trades. Besides courses on these trades, a number of short-term courses are also conducted by ITIs in some States and Union Territories. Seven Advanced Training Institutes, one Central Training Institute, two Foremen Training Institutes, a Central Staff Training and Research Institute and a Central Instructional Media Institute take care of advanced level training for workers in industry, training of instructors, development of curricular and instructional material and research in training.

7.2.2 Vocational training facilities for women have been expanded and diversified over the years. There are 154 Women ITls/ITCs and 129 women's wings in General ITIs, which specifically cater to the vocational training needs of women. In addition, a National Vocational Training Institute for Women at NOIDA in Uttar Pradesh and six Regional Vocational Trainning  Institutes for Women at Bombay, Bangalore, Calcutta, Hi'-sar, Trivandrum and Tura provide facilities for training in a three-tier system, namely, basic skills, advanced skills and instructional training in selected trades having high employment potential. Part-time, short-term and ad_hoc courses are also organised by these institutes as per the needs of local industries. Some courses are also organised for the benefit of housewives and others in trades like repair and servicing of common domestic appliances, hair and skin care, dress- making, etc.

7.2.3 The Apprenticeship Training Programme provides practical training at the shop-floor level to 1,34,000 trade apprentices in 138 trades in various industries under the Apprentices Act, 1961. Under the provisions of this Act, apprenticeship training is also provided to engineering graduates and diploma holders (graduate and technician apprentices) in 76 fields of engineering and technology and also to those passing out of the vocational stream of the 10+2 system of education.

7.2.4 While expansion and diversification of vocational training facilities in relation to needs is necessary, continuous upgradation of training, curricula and equipment, tools and other infrastructure is equally important. A major attempt w.'s made in the Seventh Plan through a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for upgradation of the quality of ITIs which envisaged replacement of obsolete equipment. Subsequently, a six-year Vocational Training Project, assisted by the World Bank,for quality upgradation and modernisation of vocational training was launched in 1989-90. The project consists of Central Sector schemes as well as Centrally Sponsored Schemes, expenditure on the latter being shared on a 50 : 50 basis by the Central Government and the individual State Governments. The schemes making up the project envisage : modernisation of equipment in ITIs, expansion and strengthening of the network of women ITIs and Regional Vocational Training Institutes (RVTIj) for vocational training of women; diversification, of training programmes including introduction of high-tech and self-employment-oriented courses; media resource centres; strengthening of the Apprenticeship Training Programme and staff development. The size and scope of the project is being enlarged in the Eighth Plan to expand the coverage of schemes like modernisation of equipment and high-tech courses, establishment of new Women ITIs/Wings besides introduction of new trades in existing women ITIs/Wings and new schemes like upgradation of Vocational Rehabilitation Centres for the Physically Handicapped and hostels for women ITIs. It is expected that the project will supplement the efforts to expand and diversify training facilities, especially for women and upgrade and reorient the quality and content of vocational training in general to cater to emerging needs of the economy.

Employment Service

7.3.1 A large network of employment exchanges including University Employment Information and Guidance Bureaux provide n-yi '-(ration, guidance and placement services to Job-seekers. Employment exchanges in some States also implement self-employment schemes. For instance, in West Bengal, a Self-Employment Scheme for the Registered Unemployed (SESRU) provides subsidy, subject to a ceiling of 25 per cent of the loan sanctioned by hanks. In Madhya Pradesh, assistance towards margin money is provided to entrepreneurs seeking loans from banks. In other States, employment exchanges motivate and guide the job-seekers for self-employment, in general, and in relation to the specific self-employment schemes, in particular. Self Employment for Educated Unemployed Youth (SEEUY) of the Development Commissioner, Small Scale Industries, the schemes for self employment of the educated in Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland, the schemes run in Andhra Pradesh by the Societies for Training and Employment Promotion (STEPs) and the Society for Employment Promotion and Training in Twin Cities of Hy-derahad-Secunderabad (SETWIN) for imparting training to youth to enhance their skill and entrepreneurial talents and the Sanjay Gandhi Swavalamban Yojana of Maharashtra providing assistance tor promoting small self-employment ventures are some major schemes of this kind. The role of exchanges in the promotion of self-employment should be strengthened and expanded. The State Governments and other arencies concerned should ensure that the necessary mechanisms and procedures are created to facilitate such an expanded role.

7.3.2 Another important function performed by the employment exchanges is the collection and dissemination of information on employment in the organised sector of the economy and on various aspects of job-seekers registered with the exchanges. The exchanges should extend their information collection functions beyond the organised sector of the economy to cover labour market information in the unorganised sector through sample surveys and studies at regular intervals. Such efforts would strengthen the information base for the formulation and execution of decentralised employment strategies and plans. The exchanges need to he assigned an important role in employment planning and promotion, especially self-employment promotion at the district level. The State Governments and other agencies concerned should ensure that the mechanisms necessary to facilitate such a role by the exchanges are created.

7.3.3 In order to provide more efficient and quicker services to the employers and employment seekers as also to tackle effectively the rapidly increasing work load at the employment exchanges, a scheme to provide Central Assistance to the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations for computerisation of employment exchanges is being implemented since the Seventh Plan. So far, 117 employment exchanges have been covered under the scheme and are at various stages of computerisation. It is proposed to continue the scheme in the Eighth Plan with the ultimate objective of covering all the District Employment Exchanges in a planned manner.

7.3.4 A new area, where employment exchanges could play a useful role, is the assessment of the magnitude of labour adjustment in the wake of steps like restructuring of trade and industry, liberalisation of the trade regime and deregulation of industry and in retraining and redeployment of labour in self-employment and other wage/salary employment in alternative expanding sectors and activities.

Manpower Planning and Research

7.3.5 In the context of the rapidly changing structure of the economy, significant changes are likely to occur in the employment patterns and potential of different sectors and activities as well as in the pattern of skills and manpower requirements. These changes would need to be regularly studied in the short, medium and longer term perspectives so as to provide necessary inputs for planning development of trained manpower at different levels. In this context, the Institute of Applied Manpower Research (IAMR), set up by Government of India in 1962 with the broad objectives of advancing knowledge on all aspects of human resource development, providing perspectives of requirements of trained manpower for economic development and evolving methods and techniques of manpower assessment, is expected to play a particularly significant role. The Institute has been endeavouring to meet its objectives through programmes on research, training and consultancy on the basis of regular funding from the Planning Commission and sponscrhip from other national and international agencies. The Institute is also implementing the National Technical Manpower Information Service (NTMIS) with the sponsor-hip from the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

7.3.6 In the specific context of the Eighth Plan, the Institute has reorganised its research activities into five major research areas : Employment and Unemployment; Science, Technology and Industry; Human Resource Development; Social Concerns; and Manpower Information Systems. It is also envisaged that the training programmes of the Institute will be re-oriented towards the new concerns in the areas of manpower and employment planning. It is proposed to strengthen the Institute's infrastructure and technical capabilities to carry out its new programmes on the basis of suitable financial support during the Eighth Plan. An outlay of Rs.7 crores has been provided in the Central sector of the Plan for the purpose.

Labour Welfare

7.4.1 Adequate levels of earnings, safe and humane conditions of work and access to some minimum social security benefits are the major qualitative dimensions of employment which enhance quality of life of workers and their productivity. Institutional mechanisms exist for ensuring these to workers in the organised sector of the economy. These are being strengthened or expanded to the extent possible. However, workers in the unorganised sector, who constitute 90 per cent of the total workforce, by and large, do not have access to such benefits. Steps need to be taken on a larger scale than before to improve the quality of working life of the unorganised workers, including women workers.

Unorganised Workers

7.5.1 A statutory provision of minimum wages for employments has been included in the schedule to the Minimum Wages Act, 1948. However, its coverage and implementation has been inadequate and the actual wages on the ground are often much lower than those fixed by the appropriate Governments under the Act. While the tendency to fix minimum wages at unrealis-tically high levels should be checked, implementation of wages once fixed should be ensured. While machinery for enforcement of the Act has been strengthened over the years and is also envisaged in the programmes included in the Plan, it is desirable that a greater role is played by the workers' organisations, non-governmental voluntary organisations and organised trade unions in ensuring implementation of minimum wages, instead of solely relying on the official enforcement machinery.

7.5.2 Suitable organisational arrangements would need to be developed to provide a minimum measure of social security for unorganised workers. A number of models are available for adoption. The Welfare Boards for Mine Workers, Beedi and Cigar Workers etc. set up by the Government of India and financed out of the cess levied on the production of the commodity concerned and the Welfare Boards for cashew workers and coir workers set up by the Government of Kerala constitute one set of models. Mutthadi Workers Board in Maharashtra and Jathu Hamal Boards being set up in Andhra Pradesh form the second model. A third model is the set of insurance schemes launched by Governments of Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh for landless agricultural labourers. A fourth alternative is a Central Fund with tripartite contribution (bi-partite in the case of the self employed).

7.5.3 A National Child Labour Programme has been taken up to make effective intervention to prevent exploitation of child labour in the unorganised sector. Nine Child Labour Projects with the main aim of suitable rehabilitation, of the children withdrawn from employment, by providing them welfare inputs have been launched. Programmes for women labour include financial assistance to voluntary organisations for taking up action-oriented projects, studies relating to women labour, organisation of child care centres for the benefit of women workers, welfare projects for women workers in the construction industry and strengthening of the enforcement of the provisions of the Equal Remuneration Act.

7.5.4 The Rural Workers' Education Programmes, which cover landless labour, agricultural workers, marginal farmers, fisheries labour, tribal labour, forest labour and rural artisans, are intended to help rural workers to solve their problems through self-help and to develop their own organisations. The Central Board of Workers' Education (CBWE) has developed schemes keeping in view the need to educate the workers on industrial health, safety and environment as well as to develop leadership among workers. As part of the national effort to increase the rate of literacy, especially among women and persons belonging to SC/ST and other educationally disadvantaged and socio-economically backward groups as also workers in unorganised sectors, the CBWE has been conducting Functional Adult Literacy Classes for workers engaged in plantation and mining industries where illiteracy is predominant. During the Eighth Plan, literacy programmes for the rural workers would be continued.

Rehabilitation of Bonded Labour

7.6.1 Under the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act 1976, the responsibility for identification, release and rehabilitation of bonded labour rests with the State Governments. With a view to supplementing the efforts of the State Governments, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme has been in operation in the Seventh Plan under which financial assistance on a matching grant basis was provided to the State Governments for rehabilitation of bonded labour. As per reports received from the State Governments, the total number of bonded labour identified and freed by March 31, 1991 was 2,55,608, out of which 2,22,935 had been rehabilitated. As many as 14,585 were reported not available for rehabilitation due to double counting, death, etc., leaving a balance of 18,088 bonded labourers to be rehabilitated. The target for rehabilitation of bonded labourers for the year 1991-92 was set at 4,109. Identification of bonded labour and their subsequent release and rehabilitation is a continuous process. Efforts are made to identify bonded labour through periodic surveys by existing agencies in the States and it is expected that such identified bonded labourers will be rehabilitated in due course of time. Voluntary agencies are also involved in Government's effort to identify and rehabilitate the bonded labour. A scheme for providing grants-in-aid to the voluntary agencies for this purpose initiated towards the end of the Seventh Plan is being continued.

Industrial and Mines Safety

7.7.1 With the adoption of advanced technology and increase in the use of various kinds of chemical substances in different sectors of economic activity, an increasing proportion of the workforce, as well as the population in general, are exposed to work-hazards and environmental pollution. Modernisation of the industry has also brought, in its train, problems of occupational hazards arising out of work-posture and man-machine environment. Greater attention than before will, therefore, have to be paid to the assessment and control of hazards to workers and the general population and to the development of safety devices, protective gears, appropriate design of machines and tools, plant lay-out and work and workplace lay-out . Among the programmes envisaged in the labour sector are application of ergonomics for improvement of working conditions in factories and docks, establishment of a system of chemical safety, strengthening of the system for monitoring improvement of the occupational health status and certification of personal protective equipment. In the field of mines safety, it is proposed to augment S and T support capabilities of the Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) to deal with problems relating to humidity, mine fires, ground control, stability of illumination, etc. It is also proposed to develop computer programmes for health monitoring of miners. Establishment of a Mines Safety and Health Academy is also envisaged for upgrading the technical know-how and professional skill of the officers of the Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS).

Labour Participation in Management

7.8.1 Labour participation in management is a means of bringing about a state of industrial democracy. Ever since Independence, the Government has been stressing the need to introduce workers' participation in management and various schemes were notified from time to time. However, the results have fallen far short of expectations. The need to bring forward a suitable legislation for effective implementation of the scheme has been felt. Besides legislation, proper education and training of workers and cooperation from both employers and employees to overcome problems arising out of the existence of multiplicity of trade unions and inter-un-ion rivalry will go a long way in promoting the system of participative management.


7.9.1 An outlay of Rs.333.72 crores had been provided in the Seventh Plan for Labour and Labour Welfare and the actual expenditure during the Seventh Plan period was Rs.485.14 crores. An outlay of Rs.1315.39 crores has been provided for Labour and Labour Welfare in the Eighth Plan.The Central and State sector outlays are indicated in the table below:

Table 7.1 Plan outlay and expenditure -Labour and Labour Welfare
(Rs. Crores)


Seventh Plan  

Eighth Plan  
  Outlay Actual  Expd. Outlay


95.44 102.00 451.00
States and UTs. 238.28 383.14 864.39*
Total 333.72 485.14 1315.39*

* Includes outlays for Special Employment Programmes.

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