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India chairs ILO’s executive body after 35 years

NEW DELHI: India has become chairman of the governing body of the International Labour Organization (ILO) after a gap of 35 years, and will play a key role in deciding its policies and agenda.

The development comes within five months of ILO expressing “deep concern" over India’s labour law amendments and sweeping exemptions being promised by states.

The governing body (GB) is the apex executive body of the ILO that decides policies, programmes, agenda, budget and elects the director-general of the global body. Union labour secretary Apurva Chandra will be the chairman of the body till June 2021.

Chandra will be presiding over ILO governing body in November and apprise the global body, with 187 nation members, of the “transformational initiatives taken by Government in removing the rigidities of labour market besides making its intention clear about universalization of social security", the union government said Friday.

The move will give comfort to the central government, which was under the ILO scanner over its labour reform policies that workers and trade unions believe is anti-worker, and aims at only ease of doing business.

In May 2020, ILO had expressed “deep concern" over the labour law amendments and exemptions initiated by several Indian states, and had asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and give a clear message to states on international commitments.

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