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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Friday the movement of labour should be free across nations without restrictions as it can otherwise stifle growth. In a short intervention at the second working session of the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, the prime minister also emphasised on skill development in emerging economies, especially India, so that its large youth population can benefit from growth. “International labour mobility in high end skills has become an important aspect of global integration across countries,” the prime minister said. “Pending the evolution of international agreements in this area, we must do whatever we can to avoid new restrictive measures, which can stifle a sector that can contribute to global growth in the years ahead,” he said. Manmohan Singh said his government was pursuing a massive skills development programme to ensure that young people get gainful employment so that they can both contribute to, and benefit from, economic growth. The government has launched a national skilling mission under which a target has been fixed to train 500 million people by 2022. Out of this 150 million will be skilled by the private sector under the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), the rest 350 million will be skilled by different government agencies and departments. Manmohan Singh asked the rich nations to show innovativeness in devising  “unconventional development financing” in line with the “unconventional monetary policy” adopted after the 2008 economic crisis. “Industrialised countries have shown that unconventional monetary policy can be used to great effect. We need to show the same innovativeness in devising unconventional development financing also,” he said. The prime minister suggested that the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank could create a special window for financing infrastructure development, including for ongoing projects that face a sudden scarcity of funds owing to volatile capital flows. “The aim should be to create flexible mechanisms which not only maintain the flow of infrastructure financing at times when other investments are slowing down, but actually expand such investments to play a counter cyclical role,” he said.

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