Skip to main content

Generating 90 million jobs in non-farm sector 'would require’ 8-8.5% GDP growth

By Our Representative
Speaking at a webinar, organized by the Center for Work and Welfare at Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), Working People’s Charter and Counterview on the subject Employment Scenario, Policy and AtmaNirbhar packages Amidst Pandemic: Impact, Challenges and the Way Forward, Dr Vinoj Abraham, professor at the Centre for Development Studies, has regretted that the challenge of  unemployment began peaking even prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, starting with 2017-18, and now things have begun to worsen.
The unemployment rate was 6% and in 2017-19, and thereafter it started rising, Dr Abarham said. Covid-19 has had an extreme effect on the economy. The information available, especially from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), states that the unemployment rate shot up in April-May 2020 and became better June onwards.
The issue of unemployment became clearer with the increased media attention on the helpless migrants who were struggling to get jobs and get back to their hometowns. The Government of India tried to offer support through three stimulus packages aimed at different groups of classes. One package focuses on the poorer people, but the other two were targeted at the larger and smaller businesses.
Dr RB Bhagat, head, department of migration and urban studies at the International Institute for Population Sciences, touched upon the various aspects of how the pandemic has affected our lives, including employment, the demographic dividend and the silence regarding the state of the migrant workers, as if they are not part of the workforce.
Dr Radhika Pandey, fellow, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIFPP), who has written extensively on the issues of employment in India, particularly amidst the pandemic, in her presentation focussed on the current state of employment in the country and the approach of the government’s Atmanirbhar package in addressing the challenge. Underlying themes of the government’s Atmanirbhar package include creating an ecosystem to facilitate demands and to avoid cash transfers, she said.
With the Atmanirbhar Package 3.0, the Government is giving companies incentives to employ workers. The idea is to integrate the migrant workforce with the workforce in the formal sector, Dr Pandey said.
While the government raised the allocation for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) to address the problem of rising unemployment due to the influx of migrant workers, the proposal to implement an urban replica of MGNREGA is on hold for now. This seems to be a well thought out decision considering the challenges of the urban infrastructure and the resource constraints faced by the urban local bodies. 
Economic policy certainty, contract enforcement and dispute redressal are some key factors that need to be addressed. Garib Kalyan Yojana requires an identification strategy
Dr Pandey elaborated on a recent report by McKinsey that suggests that to address the challenge of unemployment in India, we need to generate at least 90 million jobs in the non- agricultural sector. To achieve this ambitious goal, it is imperative to boost the GDP to 8-8.5%, especially in manufacturing, construction and labour intensive sectors. The need for non-farm jobs was especially stressed upon since the agricultural sector has a saturation point and there is a lack of demand elasticity.
The policies implemented by the government to address unemployment need to acknowledge that the informal sector is languishing and salaried jobs remain stagnant, despite an increase in entrepreneurs.
Dr Pandey also provided insights on the National Employment Policy. She emphasised on its need to have a more holistic approach to address the issue of unemployment. It is important to look at the composition of employment for more gainful employment in the formal sector.
There is a low and declining female participation rate, low productivity and lack of quality jobs and threat of automation. There is also a critical need for a shift from agriculture to manufacturing. Moreover, the enterprise structure is missing middle man -- it has a sizable proportion of small enterprises and otherwise large, but nothing in the middle.
There are some accompanying factors to address with the National Employment Policy to address the rising unemployment rates in our country. For one, economic policy certainty is needed. Uncertainty means private stakeholders will not cooperate with the government and that’s imperative for job creation. Secondly, public-private partnership is necessary to avoid unnecessary cost escalation for the private sector which can lead to projects being frozen.
Essentially, economic policy certainty, contract enforcement and dispute redressal are some key factors that need to be addressed. It is also important to recognize that programmes like the Garib Kalyan Yojana require identification strategy first. Such strategy is imperative for the informal sector also by keeping in mind the people you want to cover in the transformation programme.
The other speakers that contributed to the discussion included Dr Vinoj Abraham who moderated the session, Dr. RB Bhagat who chaired the session, Prof Utpal K De, professor of economics at the North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), and Dr Amrita Pillai, research fellow at the National Institute of Public Policy.
---
Acknowledgement: Sajili Oberoi, research intern at IMPRI, has completed bachelors in political science from Ramjas College, Delhi University

Comments

Anonymous said…
i think many of the last few years have seen negligible job growth despite reasonable growth numbers. I believe the 8.5 % number will meet the same fate. there will be growth but jobless growth. the changing world is not being taken into account is these projections

TRENDING

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

How lead petitioner was rendered homeless when GM mustard matter came up in SC

By Rosamma Thomas*  On January 5, 2023, the Supreme Court stayed a December 20, 2022 direction of the Uttarakhand High Court to the Indian Railways and the district administration of Haldwani to use paramilitary forces to evict thousands of poor families occupying land that belonged to the railways.  Justice AS Oka remarked that it was not right to order the bringing in of paramilitary forces. The SC held that even those who had no rights, but were living there for years, needed to be rehabilitated. On December 21, 2022, just as she was getting ready to celebrate Christmas, researcher Aruna Rodrigues was abruptly evicted from her home in Mhow Cantonment, Madhya Pradesh – no eviction notice was served, and nearly 30 Indian Army soldiers bearing arms were part of the eviction process. What is noteworthy in this case is that the records establishing possession of the house date back to 1892 – the title deed with the name of Dr VP Cardoza, Rodrigues’ great grandfather, is dated November 14

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Tax buoyancy claims when less than 4% Indian dollar millionaires pay income tax

By Prasanna Mohanty  In FY18, the last year for which disaggregated income tax data is available, only 29,002 ITRs declared income above Rs 5 crore, while Credit Suisse said India had 7.25 lakh dollar millionaires (the wealth equivalent of Rs 8 crore and above) that year. Often enough, the Centre claims that demonetization in 2016 raised tax collections, improved tax efficiency, and expanded the tax base. Now RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) member Ashima Goyal has also joined their ranks, attributing the “claims” of rising tax collections in the current fiscal year to “tax buoyancy” brought by the demonetisation . Do such claims have any basis in official records? The answer is unequivocal. The budget documents show the tax-to-GDP ratio (direct plus indirect tax) increased from 10.6% in FY16 (pre-demonetization) to 11.2% in FY17, remained there in FY18 (demonetization and GST fiscals), and then fell to 9.9% in FY20. In FY22, it improved to 10.8% and is estimated to drop to 10.7% in

Cyrus Mistry, PM Modi’s brother: What do these accidents have in common? Merc!

By Rosamma Thomas*  In September 2022, in an accident at Palghar near Mumbai, Cyrus Mistry, former chairman of the Tata Group, died in a road accident . On December 28, 2022, a road accident in Mysore left one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s brothers injured. What is common in these accidents? The car that crashed into the divider on the road, in both these cases, was manufactured by “prestigious” German manufacturer Mercedes Benz. One former dealer of Mercedes Benz cars in India has been raising issues of the threat to the lives of those riding these cars for many years now. Cama Motors, among the oldest dealers of foreign cars, having started business in pre-independence India, noted over 10 years ago that Mercedes Benz was indulging in corrupt practices . The cars are currently priced between Rs 41 lakh and Rs 2.92 crore in India; few people realize that the pride of owning a Merc comes at considerable risk to life. Cama Motors carefully documented several of the flaws on a websi

Gandhian unease at Mahadev Desai book launch: Sabarmati Ashram may lose free space

By Rajiv Shah  A simmering apprehension has gripped the Gandhians who continue to be trustees of the Sabarmati Ashram: the “limited freedom” to express one’s views under the Modi dispensation still available at the place which Mahatma Gandhi made his home from 1917 to 1930 may soon be taken away. Also known as Harijan Ashram, a meeting held for introducing yet-to-be-released book, “Mahadev Desai: Mahatma Gandhi's Frontline Reporter”, saw speaker and after speaker point towards “narrowing space” in Gujarat for Gandhians (as also others) to express themselves. Penned by veteran journalist Nachiketa Desai, grandson of Mahadev Desai, while the book was planned to be released on January 1 and the meeting saw several prominent personalities, including actor-director Nandita Das, her scholar-mother Varsha Das, British House of Lords member Bhikhu Parekh, among others, speak glowingly about the effort put in for bringing out the book, exchanges between speakers suggested it should be rele

Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

By Our Representative  Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was "no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence." Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Addressed by family members of the political prisoners, academics, as well as social activists, it was highlighted how cases were sought to be fabricated against progressive individuals, democratic activists and intellectuals, who spoke out against "corporate loot of Indian resources, suppression of basic democratic

Kerala natural rubber producers 'squeezed', attend to their plight: Govt of India told

By Rosamma Thomas   Babu Joseph, general secretary of the National Federation of Rubber Producers Societies (NFRPS) at a recent discussion at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, explained that it is high time the Union government paid greater heed to the troubles plaguing the rubber production sector in India – rubber is a strategic product, important for the military establishment and for industry, since natural rubber is still used in the manufacture of tyres for large vehicles and aeroplanes. Synthetic rubber is now quite widespread, but styrene, which is used in making synthetic rubber and plastics, and also butadiene, another major constituent of synthetic rubber, are both hazardous. Prolonged exposure to these even in recycled rubber can cause neurological damage. Kerala produces the bulk of India’s natural rubber. In 2019-20, Kerala’s share in the national production of rubber was over 74%. Over 20% of the gross cropped area in the state is under rubber cultivation, with total

Bangladesh 'rights violations': US softens stance, fears increased clout of China, India

By Tilottama Rani Charulata*  In December 2021, in addition to the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the United States imposed sanctions on seven former and current officers of the force, alleging serious human rights violations. Benazir Ahmed and former RAB-7 commander Miftah Uddin Ahmed were banned from entering the US. RAB as an institution was also canceled the support it was getting from the US and its allies. At the same time, those under the ban have been notified of confiscation of assets held abroad. The anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, RAB is the elite force consisting of members of the Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Civil Service and Bangladesh Ansar, and has been criticized by rights groups for its use of extrajudicial killings and is accused of forced disappearances. The government of Bangladesh has been insisting about lifting the ban on RAB, but the US had till recen