Soaring unemployment imposes PM’s economic panel for road map for job creation

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim
The 2014 Indian General Election which constituted the 16th Lok Sabha witnessed an aggressive campaign headed by none other than Narendra Damodardas Modi as the Chief Campaigner, received thumbing support with the principle mandate to clean up the system, curb black money and create job. After three years, the unemployment has further increased to its all time high of 8.30 percent from 4.08 percent from previous year.  
Understanding the volatile situation, where the public will surely seek the progress report of generation of job, the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) on November 10, 2017 chalked out a "clear road map" for stepping up skill development and job creation and enhancing resource investment in the social sector, including health and education, while making out a case for boosting infrastructure financing.

It is of course debatable if in the remaining two years the team can narrow down the unemployment figures, which Modi thought would be possible through the Make in India programme. But the companies have observed that there is lack of skilled human resources, which make it difficult for generating job avenues.
Further adding to the woes, since demonetization on November 8, 2016, and the roll out of the GST on July 1. The daily wages laborers who went back to their respective villages are yet to resume work. It is expected that as the harvesting season is nearing, it is hopeful that the workforce in the small factories will resume work soon.
The most affected section of the society is the individual entrepreneur and professional. The entrepreneur includes the small traders, manufacturers and service sector, who don’t have bulk purchases in terms of raw materials for their business, will find it difficult to claim the refund.
On the other hand, the professionals like the designer, artists and artisans, performers and resource persons for the Central government departments have all come under the GST and have either shut their one room offices or have stopped providing services as they could not register for GST number as their income is not consistent because it is purely on contractual basis.
The professionals could have been utilized in the training programmes for the Make in India flagship programme, but such an indirect tax which was introduced in India on July 1, 2017, has prevented them from rendering their expertise or services. This is direct suppressing of the Human Resources of the country.
According to research, since the demonetization till GST, as many as four lakhs people have lost their jobs and the number is still rising. The manufacturers, dealers, and the retailers too have limited their manufacturing and purchases respectively, till the GST is streamlined. This is one of the main causes of the economic slowdown, as the masses now refuse to spend. It also means that there are fewer jobs in these sectors which have further created unemployment problems.
Most identifiable indication of the failure to provide job by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government was the removal of former Minister of State for Skill Development, Rajiv Pratap Rudy on September 1, 2017 stating that it is as per the desire of the Party. The Political Pundit put it as the failure of Rudy to create employment, whereas the Startups have been slow to fill in the gap. The situation was exposed by the report of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which revealed the low efficacy of last November’s demonetisation of high-value currency. In its annual report for the last fiscal, it showed the growth of unemployment, defeating the assurance of Modi government that he had claimed via Red Fort Independence Day Speech to generate employment through Skill Development. But due to lack of resource persons to train various vocational skills to meet the demands for Make in India, it has further widened the gap of unemployment in the country which has caused Rudy his ministry.
The toughest explanation Modi’s government has to give to the nation is about the backlash of unplanned November 8, 2017 demonetization aimed at eradicating the Black money and money laundering. As one of the Retired Bureaucrat puts it as ‘tackling the issues at the wrong ends’, it has only affected the general masses, while the bureaucratic system of kick-backs and Bara Babu culture still persists and the main cause of generating Black money is unperturbed.
Other issues like the failure of the sanitation programmes under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission), where toilets were constructed but without any water supply or septic-tank provisions has further caused the hygienic issues, at the sametime Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal are questioning the Clean Ganga projects; these are few of the issues Modi needs to justify.
Just about 15 months ahead, Team Modi 2019 will seek reelection. The nation, which has short term memory, will surely now observe the performance of NDA alliance led by the BJP. It is a humungous task for Modi and his cabinet to perform, at the same time conduct the damage control if they still hope to create the Modi wave in 2019. Or else, it will expose that here too team Modi only has half-baked or unprofessional execution of all flagship programmes.


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