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ILO says India can do more to soften blow

ILO says India can do more to soften blow

New Delhi: India could do more to stimulate its economy to soften the impact of a global slump and protect jobs, an official of International Labour Organization (ILO) said.

However, “the fact that India is not fully integrated into the global economy will give (it) shelter from the current slowdown", Duncan Campbell, director of the international outfit’s economic and labour market analysis department, said in New Delhi on Thursday.

He, however, said India has done well to extend the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme—which assures 100 days of work a year to the poor—to 45 million people, which he said has to be viewed more as a “social payment transfer package".

According to an ILO report released last week, global unemployment in 2009 could rise to at least 50 million if the downturn persists. In 2008, an estimated 6% of the world’s workers were looking for a job, up from 5.7% in 2007, the report said.

On Wednesday, India’s labour ministry reported a decline of half a million jobs between October and December. About 94% of India’s workforce are in the unorganized sector.

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