9 Feb : With the employment situation getting worse in the backdrop of global economic meltdown, the government has said it is ready to take "any measures" to help Indian industries prevent further loss of jobs.
Fernandes’s comment came after he was asked about the steps the government is contemplating to take following one of its own report that around half a million people lost their jobs between October and December 2008.
"We are ready to offer any help, be it in the form of tax relief, providing credit support or anything else to help industries support jobs of people. To tide over the crisis industry should also take fresh initiatives to explore demands in newer markets," Fernandes added.
"Export market is affected to some extent as the purchasing power of industries has dropped. But we are working with them to ensure that production lines are kept running so that more jobs are not lost," said Union Minister for Labour and Employment Oscar Fernandes.
Labour ministry study had found that capacity utilisation of exporting units had come down by 7.05 per cent and 5.68 per cent in the automobiles and metal sectors respectively during October to December 2008.
"The auto industry that has seen a drop in production will pick up soon. Prevailing prices of fuel and steel have already been lowered to provide them a booster," he said.We are hopeful that with fall in steel prices, even construction activities will pick up within a year, he added.
The minister highlighted that extending the tenure of unemployment allowance from three months salary paid over six months to six months salary paid over a year will also help tide over the slowdown crisis.
"We are hopeful that in a year’s time all activities would be back to normal," Fernandes said.Earlier, while addressing a seminar organised by the Quality Council of India (QCI), Fernandes hailed the organisation for taking up the responsibility of training more than 6,000 Industrial Training Institute (ITI) teachers with the knowledge to handle the latest tools.
“Upgraded skilled force will help the govt to tide over the crisis.” the minister said.