New Delhi: Hailing the contribution of private security guards in the country, Union minister Piyush Goyal said the segment was among the fastest growing in India’s security sector.
Speaking at the Private Security Industry Conclave (PSIC) at FICCI, Goyal, union minister for railways, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to recognise and respect the contribution of private security guards in different sectors is an indication of the importance of their work.
"We brought the chowkidar at the centre stage in the entire election process and the "main bhi chowkidar" campaign will go down in history as one of the most successful campaign themes," Goyal said, adding that private security guards can act in tandem with national security personnel.
"For the first time dignity was given to private security guards for contributing to the nation's development and security and this was the dignity that was given to the army and paramilitary personnel," Goyal said. Looking into areas where government security can be replaced by private security, so that the nation’s security apparatus can be engaged in critical areas and that is something the Centre will look into, Goyal added.
In the days following demonetization, the role of private security guards came to fore when they were required to man ATMs and cash vans, the minister said.
"During demonetisation all cash vans were handled by private security agencies and that was the time I saw the capacity of the industry to rise up to the challenge... and we recognise that this may soon become one of the largest job creators in the industry," said Goyal.
He said the industry needs to look closely into the training of security guards and providing of basic equipment to them, and that it was imperative to bring everyone under the ambit of regulation and unregulated security service providers need to be tracked.
Also present at the FICCI event was Santosh Kumar Gangwar, union minister for labour and employment, who stressed on the government’s focus on reforming labour laws. He said the government was working to bring a unified minimum wage so there is parity across states.
“We have started a new ministry for skill development which is giving a pace to the work. There is a talk worldwide on unemployment and how it will be tackled. We are trying to come above this and tackle it. It was decided during the Vajpayeee government that the labour laws will be clubbed. This didn't happen for 10 years but we did it as soon as possible," he said.
Gangwar said it is important to hold consultations with labour unions, states, and employers. He said employment generation will play a big role in turning India into a $5 trillion economy and that is why private security agencies are crucial as they employ a large number of people.
“First law on Code on Wages has been passed but we need your support for the rest. The second law has been placed before a standing committee. We are talking about a common wage amount and fixing a date for it. National minimum poor wage needs to be decided across the country. We are bringing a regulation for this," he said.