Where are those 10 Million Jobs Promised?
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Where are those 10 Million Jobs Promised?

Author: Thamanna Abdul Latheef   06 Aug 2018

Where are those 10 Million Jobs Promised?

India's youth are running short of employment opportunities, their career, as well as their life, are at stake as they face difficulty in finding a job with a fair salary which they aspire for. According to the official website of the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), a board that tracks business and economic data of the country, currently, there are over 31 million unemployed Indians looking for jobs in India.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari while responding to press recently on the ongoing agitation by Marathas for reservation and similar demands by other communities in Maharashtra, had said, "Let's us assume the reservation is given. But there are no jobs." This has backfired and created repercussions across the country.  

It must also be noted that in the last week of February, the unemployment rate increased to 6.1 percent as compared to 5 percent in January. To be precise, this 6.1 percent unemployment rate is noted to be the highest monthly rate in the past 15 months.

No target set for Job creation!

Adding up to the dismay, Labour minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar told earlier in the Lok Sabha that the government had not set a target for job creation. In a written response to INLD MP Dushyant Chautala’s question on employment over the past three years, Gangwar said, “No target has been set by the government. However, the employment generation... is the priority concern of the Government (sic).”

The minister said the government has taken steps to generate employment by encouraging the private sector, fast-tracking projects involving substantial investment and increasing expenditure on schemes like Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY).

What did Modi-led BJP government promise?

At a rally in Agra in 2013, Narendra Modi, then campaigning for the position of Prime Minister, had said the BJP would create 10 million jobs: “If BJP comes to power, it will provide one crore jobs which the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government could not do despite announcing it before the last Lok Sabha polls,” the newspaper DNA had quoted Modi in a November 2013 story.

What did PM Modi say?

An interview with Zee News held earlier this year, PM Modi said, "In our country, there are two sectors, formal and informal. It is accepted that 10 percent of the jobs are in the formal sector, and 90 percent are in the informal sector. A neutral agency has given a report that in the formal sector, 70 lakh EPF accounts have been opened in one year. These accounts have all personal details, alongside the money that is deposited. The reality is different from what some people are claiming. No one can deny the fact that road construction has doubled in the country, railway tracks are being laid and developed at double the speed. This is a labour intensive job. Now, twice the number of people are required to do these jobs, since the speed has doubled. But this is part of the informal sector, which does not reflect in the reports. In Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, 10 crore people have got Rs 4 lakh crore in form of loans without security. Out of the 10 crores, three crore people have never been sanctioned any loan by any bank. So, it means, that they are first time entrepreneurs."

What do statistics show?

Dushyant Chautala, in his question, has quoted an International Labour Organisation report titled “World Employment and Social Outlook Trends – 2018,” which showed India’s unemployed population will rise from 18.3 million in 2017 to 18.6 million in 2018 and 18.9 million by 2019. The report stated the unemployment rate is expected to remain static at 3.5% during the same period.

The government, in its response, quoted annual labour force surveys of 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2015-16. The sharpest increase in the unemployment rate was in Himachal Pradesh, from 1.8% in 2014-15 to 10.2% in 2015-16. The other two states with high unemployment rates were Kerala and Tripura at 10.6% and 10%, respectively, in 2015-16.

Talking about the disparity in the statistics

While the government could not provide unemployment data for 2016-17 and 2017-18, Gangwar furnished the number of jobs created under PMEGP at 2.31 lakh in 2017-18, down from 4.07 lakh in 2016-17. The government data also showed a slowdown in placements of persons with skills training.

The 2016-17 Economic Survey, based on data from the labour ministry, stated: “Employment growth has been sluggish." and the Central government has been criticized over the lack of available jobs for years.

The government or, for that matter, any future government, will not be able to create formal jobs for over 6-7 million joining the country’s workforce every year. In 2016-17, actual jobs created were 4.1 lakh as against the BJP’s electoral promise of creating one crore jobs annually. So where are those 1 million jobs offered by the NDA government? If they can't fulfil their electoral promises, why did they even make such promises or statements to lure public? 

Be it any political party or a politician for that matter, the consequences of their ruling has to be borne by its people. If the change in the government and governance doesn't mark any positive effect in the society, it is apparently pointing out that we fall short of proper policies and plans for the people. Rather than making fictitious statements on employment, skill development and growth, we, as a society, need more action plans in the years to come. Hence, millions of youth would be able to use their skills in a productive way and the issue can be resolved to an extent.

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