Monday, April 25, 2016

Where are the jobs for youth, Shri Modi?

The Narendra Modi Government is a dispensation with a brute majority. No other Government in the past 30 years has been elected with such a clear mandate. In a Westminster form of Parliamentary Democracy, it is imperative to constantly gauge the mood of the people. 5 years is a long period for an elected Government to usher reforms, especially fulfilling the promises on which it is elected.

40 percent of that 5 year period has passed. It is time to take the stock of the Government – whether it has been able to fulfill some of its promises (40 percent atleast), whether it has been able to usher in reforms or whether it has lived up to the expectations of the people.

Last May, when the Modi Sarkar completed its first year, and the Government was at its nascent stage, to give the Government a benefit of doubt, I had done a small exercise of comparing the first year of the NDA 2.0 Government with the first year of UPA Government. This time the list is long and this exercise would not be enough.

Only 60 percent term of this Government is left, and it is time for a hardcore reality check on a wide range of issues. A check on its promises, a check on what it has delivered or not delivered. A check on how it has succeeded or failed. A check on the how it respected or disrespected the ‘Will of the People’ who elected it or even the ‘Will of the People’ who did not vote for it.

So for a month, starting April 26, 2016 to May 26, 2016 (the day Shri Modi took oath as Prime Minister) I will compile a series of papers or chargesheets that will determine how the Government has lived up to its lofty promises in the court of the people.

Let me add a small disclaimer: All the data is either Government provided or based on media reports. Source of each would be provided. I may or may not provide a full picture on each issue, but whatever is provided in this series, forms the crux of the issues. It is the essence of what went wrong in every sphere. So let us embark on this journey …

An IndiaSpend analysis of employment data and evaluation of aspirations of young Jats in Haryana  revealed that the protests are manifestations of India’s slow, inadequate job-creation and a failing education system creating thousands of “unemployable” graduates. This was also true in protests by Patidars in Gujarat or the Kapus in Andhra Pradesh.

The United Nations has said India will have the world’s largest youth population by 2020, and that population, in the age-group of 15-34, grew from 353 million in 2001 to 430 million in 2011, with millions unemployed.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi never stops claiming that India is now the fastest growing economy in the world. As the fastest growing economy, we should be generating a lot of jobs for our youth.

That, however, does not seem to be happening.

New jobs in eight labour-intensive industries fell to a six-year low in the first nine months of 2015 — with just 1.55 lakh new jobs being created compared to over three lakh jobs over the same period in 2013 and 2014, according to Labour Bureau data.
The Bharatiya Janata Party in its 2014 Manifesto had promised 2 crore jobs every year. By simple calculation, it would have provided atleast 4 crore jobs by May 2016.

Out of those 4 crore new jobs, the Modi Government has managed to add only 1.55 Lakh new jobs in 2015 (albeit officially)

The latest quarterly survey conducted by the Labour Bureau showed 1.34 lakh jobs were created in July-September 2015, the lowest in the similar quarters since 2009 when the survey was started. In January-March 2015, though the number of jobs increased by 64,000, it declined by 43,000 in the quarter ended June taking the net addition of jobs during 2015 to 1.55 lakh.

By contrast, 3.04 lakh new jobs were added in January-September 2014 and 3.36 lakh in the same period of 2013, a Labour Bureau survey showed. There was a sharp decline in hiring of contract labour in 2015.

Contractual jobs declined by 21,000 in January-September 2015 against an increase of 1.20 lakh in the corresponding period of 2014. Direct employment rose by 1.76 lakh in 2015 compared to an increase of 1.84 lakh in 2014.

There is a colossal, unprecedented and ever-mounting crisis of employment for the young in India today. Every month, a million new persons are joining India’s workforce and there are hardly any jobs for them in either the public or private sector.
According to a Kotak Securities report,India needs 2.30 Crore jobs annually. So the BJP’s poll promise was pragmatic and achievable in nature. 

Despite global economic slowdown, during the second term of the UPA government from 2010 through 2014, far more jobs were created in the first nine months each year, across the eight sectors this survey tracks. In the first nine months of 2010, 6.58 lakh jobs were added; in 2011 this number was 7.04, 2012 full year was 3.22 lakh and 2013 nine months it stood at 3.36 lakh. In 2014, the nine month period saw 3.76 lakh jobs being created but a quarter wise breakdown shows the largest number of jobs were created between April-June at 1.82 lakh and then job creation kept declining to 1.58 in the July-September quarter before falling off to 1.17 lakh in the last quarter of the calendar year.

Here's some easy math for grasping the enormity of this slowdown in jobs under the NDA: The Modi government took charge in mid-2014 and for that full year, 4.93 lakh jobs were added across these eight sectors. So job addition in the first full year of this government fell to just a fourth of 2014 and was only a tenth of the growth seen in 2009, when the UPA was in power.

The massive economic mismanagement of the Modi Government and its all around failure to usher in real meaningful reforms have not only reduced jobs in the organized sector, but according to the admission of its own NITI Aayog vice- chairman Arvind Panagariya, “there is a fair bit of underemployment in agriculture too”.

While it is clear that the Modi Government has not been able to live up to its promise of providing new jobs to the youth, at least in its first two years in office, it would be important to watch what road the Modi government would take from here.

Till then, we can only ask Shri Modi about his promise, where are the jobs for the youth?

1 comment:

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