Big Jolt on Job Front

coverstory image Dr Suresh Mathew
13 Sep 2021
Weekly Magazine In India

One crore new jobs every year; Rs. 15 lakh to every citizen; USD 5 trillion economy by 2024-25; Rs 100-lakh crore ‘Gatishakti’ initiative to bring employment opportunities for the youth…. The last seven years have seen promises raining endlessly. Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes in unleashing promises. He relies on relentlessly keeping people’s hopes high. If there is one thing that is constant in the NDA regime under Modi it is this ceaseless deluge of promises. How many of them have seen their logical end? How many will achieve the target? Well, he is not there to answer questions, but to bombard you with his big budget promises. Leave it or take it. 

The latest report by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has yet again exposed his promise on employment generation. Close to 20 lakh jobs were lost in August alone. The depressing scenario is witnessed both in urban and rural sectors. The biggest job loss was in the agriculture sector; the industrial scenario too was nothing to boast about. But for the service sector which absorbed a part of the job-seekers, who were thrown out of the other two sectors, the situation would have been more worrying. However, the service sector jobs are mostly termed ‘not of good quality’ which means they are low-paying and irregular. What has been thrown to the winds is Modi’s own specific assurance prior to becoming the Prime Minister. He had stated that if BJP came to power, it would provide one crore jobs every year which the UPA government could not do. The CMIE report has called the bluff of Modi’s promise which the BJP had reiterated in its election manifesto.   

This scenario does not gel with the promise of making India one of the fastest growing economies in the world. A country cannot be on the fast-track growth if its job creation is crawling or people are losing jobs. People with steady income are the backbone of any developed world. Joblessness is the curse of underdeveloped economies. The Modi government’s thoughtless and reckless policies, starting with demonetization, have ‘generously’ contributed to the unemployment rate going northward. Its ambitious ‘Make-in-India’ project too failed to take off. It was intended to boost the share of domestic manufacturing and create jobs in a big way in various sectors. 

As the famous saying goes, only nothing can come out of nothing. Similarly, only joblessness can come out of job losses. This is a serious trap for the common man with no regular source of sustenance. By contrast, the revenue and profit of many corporate houses have seen phenomenal increase even during the pandemic. The salaried class too escaped the rigours of the melt-down. The gap between the rich and the poor further widened, threatening the delicate social fabric of the nation. A recent Pew Research has cited that 75 million people moved back into poverty in India. The International Monetary Fund recently downgraded India’s growth outlook from 12.5 per cent to 9.5 per cent for the fiscal 2021-22. Taking these depressing scenarios together, deep trouble is waiting in the wings for the common man. The ‘promised land of jobs’ seems to remain elusive to the ordinary mortals.

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