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PM inaugurates South Asian conference on home-based workers

Jan '07
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh announced that the Government is working on a Bill for Microfinance institutions to help create a friendly policy environment for microfinance services.

Inaugurating the 3-day South Asian Policy Conference on Home-based Workers organized by the SEWA and UNIFEM, here today, Dr. Singh emphasized that these must reach the poor in far greater number and build their capacities to absorb higher amount of credit. “We will try to facilitate varied models of delivering microfinance services to grow faster”, he added.

Assuring support for the formulation of the National Policy on Homebased Workers in India and to facilitate similar policies in the countries of South Asia, the Prime Minister sought suggestions of the Conference in this regard.

Stating that women's empowerment should be a major objective of our social, political and economic policy in our region, Dr. Singh emphasized that the key to the empowerment of all people is education and the assurance of gainful employment. He added that our main challenge is that of increasing the skills, productivity and earnings of homebased workers. Senior officials of UNIFEM, SEWA and a large number of home-based workers from the South Asian Region participated in the Conference.

Following is the text of the Prime Minister's address on the occasion:

“It gives me great pleasure to inaugurate your Conference on Homebased Workers in South Asia. Countries of South Asia are similar in many ways and we face similar social and economic challenges. I compliment UNIFEM and SEWA for taking this initiative to bring together representatives of the civil society of our South Asia to discuss issues of great contemporary significance.

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