This is the final report of the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector, which was set up by the Government of India on 20th September 2004 under the chairmanship of Dr. Arjun K. Sengupta to 'review the status of unorganized/informal sector in India including the nature of enterprises, their size, spread and scope, and magnitude of employment'. This was the first step taken towards fulfilling the commitment of the new UPA government to ensure 'the welfare and well-being of all workers, particularly those in the unorgani-sed sector, who constitute more than 93 per cent of our workforce' (likely to be around 502 million by 2012 as the Commission estimates). During the four and a half year of its existence, the Commission examined in detail all the literature and statistical evidence that exists on this sector, held numerous consultations with different stakeholders, such as government officials and policy makers at the Centre and in the States, trade unions and associations of workers representatives, civil society organisations, academics and experts.
This final report on 'The Challenge of Employment in India: An Informal Economy Perspective' is now presented as an overarching report based on all the earlier work of the Commission, to provide a perspective and strategy for expanding employment in India. The report takes an aggregative perspective of what the Commission calls the central problem of the challenge of employment namely, deficit in its quantity and quality. The comprehensive report also examines the issue of labour market reforms in India. The most important conclusion that follows from the findings of the Commission is that all efforts to improve the quantity and quality of employment in the unorganised sector would require a new approach to economic planning in India. The report offers numerous suggestions and concrete recommendations towards attaining the objective of 'maximizing employment' and ensuring inclusive growth. The report is published in two volumes: "Volume I: Main Report", and "Volume II: Annexures".