Modi falls short on job creation promise

PM had been critical of UPA's inability to generate jobs.

Mumbai: With the flurry of report cards on the three years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rule, the picture on the employment front falls far short off the electrifying promises he made, particularly to the youth of India whose aspirations he echoed so eloquently and confidently, during his election campaign.

With an eye of the so-called demographic dividend, he had promised 10 million jobs in five years which means six million jobs in the third year. Even if the numbers are back-loaded India should have had at least three to four million jobs by the third year of the Modi regime.

According to the labour bureau data, in eight sectors there was a reduction of 1.52 lakh jobs among casual workers in the October-December 2016 quarter due to demonetisation.

Sectors included textiles, transport, manufacturing, compared to October 2016 quarter which saw a rise of 1.68 lakh full time workers, while part-time fell to 46,000. Contract and regular jobs saw a jump of 1.24 lakh and 1.39 lakh during the same period.

This drop or failure on the employment front is very significant because of the scathing criticism of the UP government by Mr Modi in his election speeches.

He said: the UPA could create only about 1.5 million jobs a year on average in the 10 years it was in power, and the earlier NDA regime had created over 10 million in five years. It is not that the GDP, that is the economy, did not grow during Modi’s regime.

The economy grew at seven per cent and has only recently faced a hiccup. But it saw the phenomena of what is called “jobless growth.” Sanjay Pande, an IPS officer, who holds a Masters’ Degree in public administration from Harvard University, US said “the IT sector which was one of the job creators growing at 5-8 per cent annually, was hit by global automation and growing protectionism.

The BPOs which created hundreds of jobs, saw the backlash of this development.” Referring to the unemployability of many of the millions who graduate each year, he said degree can be bought-of-the-shelf in the country and you don’t even have to have studied in a university. So what do you expect.

So what does the future hold? Modi’s charisma still holds and it was good to see that he is aware of the failure on this front. Being a hands on Prime Minister, he has asked reports from his various ministries on the employment front and he will soon hopefully put his finger on the right button. His Make in India, Startup India and Standup India have to transcend from lofty slogans to a reality translating in to jobs.

Who let him down? Besides those who rushed him into the disastrous demonetisation exercise, where are the NRIs who committed to invest Rs 15 lakh crores amidst high powered Make in India jamborees?

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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