Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise of creating one crore jobs has come to haunt him India’s unemployment rate shot up to a 15-month high of 7.4 percent in December 2018 and should be giving the government sleepless nights. This was further compounded by the fact that India lost 11 million jobs in 2018, with rural areas being the worst hit.
It is ironic that while India is the world’s fastest growing economy, it has largely been a jobless growth, which was epitomized in 25 million people for applying for 90,000 ordinary railway jobs!
The government should be more worried as rural India, the jobless growth, and saw 84 percent of total jobs lost. In the recent Assembly elections in several states, the ruling BJP lost heavily in rural areas These figures should be a wake-up call for the government as it is to be voted back in power in May.
To be fair to the government, this setback It started a number of “yojanas” like the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), but the benefits of these programs could not be utilized as of 30.67 lakh people who were skilled by PMKVY, only 2.9 lakh jobs were found.
It must be appreciated that the government has been caught between the devil and the deep sea. It adopted the soft option of being popular instead of taking steps like land and labor reforms. These are two important requirements for attracting international funds. It applies to domestic investments too as many in the private sector are employed on a temporary basis. These reforms are as important, if not more, than the ease of doing business measures.
Another failure of the government of the government was its inability to materialize “Sabka saath sabka vikas”. It failed to support job generation sectors like textiles and leather goods, and footwear and local garment manufacturers. They are languishing for lack of funds, giving the opposition to the derivative “suit-boot” jibe.
Prime Minister Modi’s reckless demonetisation drive not only led to 1.5% drop in GDP, from the amount of Rs 2.25 lakh crore a year, but resulted in 15 crore daily wage earners short term in any work. The government could possibly redeem some of its promises by focusing on offering incentives for women in the textile and apparel sectors. This is easier said than done as the government has little leeway in spending. But sops like these were some of the important benefits of women’s form.