Budget 2018-19 and Job Creation
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Budget 2018-19 and Job Creation

Author: Thamanna Abdul Latheef   25 May 2018

Budget 2018-19 and Job Creation

Millions of graduates and post-graduates enter the job market every year with so many aspirations. But even after putting lots of efforts, they don’t get a dream job. Most of the times, they have to compromise either with the salary or the profile for the sake of getting employment.

Now the question is, “even after spending so much on education, why does India facing issues of unemployment and under-employment?”

We’re not running short of qualified candidates but of jobs. We have witnessed enough of debates and discussions on this very matter for long but with no outcome.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley has mentioned the word ‘employment’ 17 times in his 2017-18 budget speech whereas another often used word was ‘jobs’. In order to create employment and to aid growth, the government has increased its expenditure to Rs. 5.97 lakh crore against an estimated expenditure of Rs 4.94 lakh crore in the year 2017-18. But a recent World Bank report sent alarm bells ringing in the country claiming that over 30% of India's population aged between 15 and 29 years is NEETs (Not in education, employment or training).

In his last Independence Day speech, PM Narendra Modi had said “We are nurturing our youngsters to be job creators and not job-seekers.” But that can only come about if the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which make a major engine of growth and employment in the country, is properly incentivized. Recognizing that fact, Arun Jaitley has lowered the corporate tax rate to 25% for companies with a reported turnover of up to Rs 250 crore in the financial year 2016-17. In last year's budget, this benefit was limited to companies with a turnover of under Rs 50 crore. According to the finance minister, this move will benefit 99% of companies filing returns, leaving them with a higher investible surplus, which in turn will create more jobs.

Hoping to further boost job creation in the formal sector, Jaitley has announced that the government will contribute 12% of the wages of the new employees in the EPF for all the sectors-instead of a selected few at present for next three years. To incentivize employment of more women and to enable higher take-home wages, the budget has also proposed to amend the EPF Act to reduce women employees' contribution to 8% for first three years of their employment while the employer's contribution will continue at 12%. The facility of fixed-term employment moreover will now be extended to all sectors (instead of just apparel and footwear sector).

Jaitley claims that creating job opportunities and facilitating generation of employment has been at the core of our policy-making. But where are the jobs these policies have created? Why are people in India still struggling to get a good job? Why are the flag bearers of ‘pro-poor government’ not taking enough steps to handle the issue of unemployment? Don’t you think it’s a great matter of concern in a poverty-stricken country like India?

MOLITICS SURVEY

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