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Press release on the visit of Mr. Mallikarjun Kharge, Labour and Employment Minister to Washington, DC

Washington, DC
April 21, 2010

On 21 April 2010, in the G-20 Labour and Employment Ministers’ Meeting at Washington DC, Hon’ble Labour and Employment Minister Shri Mallikarjun Kharge made a detailed presentation on two innovative and flagship Schemes of the Government of India, viz. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana. This meeting of G-20 Labour and Employment Ministers was chaired by US Labour Secretary Ms Hilda Solis. Instead of the normal time of ten minutes given for each presentation, the Indian Union Labour Minister was given the floor for more than half an hour in view of the keen interest in the initiatives taken by Government of India to foster inclusive growth. 

The presentation generated discussion among the labour ministers who wanted to learn more about these two schemes which had touched the lives of such a large number of beneficiaries. They were also interested in learning about how technology was used to reach the rural masses in remote areas. The labour ministers from other countries sought various details about the achievements under these Schemes, which were provided by the Labour Minister Shri Kharge. Brazilian Labour Minister Carlos Lupi praised India’s achievements through such schemes and stated that these initiatives are specially worth replicating for large countries with diverse populations. 

Summing up the discussion, US Labour Secretary Ms Hilda Solis stated that the achievement of India is laudable as these schemes had succeeded in reaching the masses in remote geographical areas, adding that the US hoped to learn from these innovative and dynamic programmes in India.

This afternoon Hon’ble Labour and Employment Minister Shri Kharge would be meeting US President Mr Barack Obama along with other G-20 Labour Ministers. He will have a bilateral meeting with the US Labour Secretary tomorrow.