National Advisory Council reviews its progress

July 6th, 2012 - 9:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi New Delhi, July 6 (IANS) The reconstituted National Advisory Council (NAC) met Friday and reviewed the progress since it was formed two years ago.

According to sources, the meeting approved a report which takes stock of the work done in the past in terms of issues taken up and recommendations made to the union government.

The NAC is headed by Sonia Gandhi, chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance.

Union ministries of labour and employment and finance made presentations before the NAC on its recommendations to the government on social security for the unorganised sector.

These included universalising maternity benefit of Rs.1,000 for six months to pregnant and nursing mothers under the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana in 52 districts, widening of the health insurance cover under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana to the unorganised sector workers and enhancing the life and disability insurance, as well as the pension scheme.

In the past year, the NAC has sent the draft National Food Security Bill and the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011, to the government.

While the Food Security Bill is being examined by a Parliamentary Standing Committee, the Communal Violence Bill is being considered by the home ministry.

The NAC also discussed issues such as ways to prohibit manual scavenging, protect the livelihood rights of street vendors and enhance the rights of persons with disabilities and land acquisition.

The advisory body has already given its inputs on draft legislations to protect children against sexual offences, prevent sexual harassment of women at the workplace and has suggested amendments to existing laws on prohibiting child labour.

Earlier, the NAC had sent recommendations to the government on social sector policies relating to the Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan, denotified, nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes, the Jarawa tribe, domestic workers, shelters and other services for the urban homeless, unorganised sector workers, and on improving the sex ratio at birth.

Two new people have joined the NAC– Planning Commission member Mihir Shah and Ashish Mondal of Action for Social Development from Bhopal.

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