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Economic Survey: Employment creation a great challenge

The Economic Survey on Friday flagged concerns about too few jobs being created for millions who join the queue of hopefuls every year, pointing out that employment creation continues to remain a “great challenge” for the country.

The second volume of the Economic Survey, often described as the government’s official report card on the economy, said that informal and unorganised sector dominated the labour market which is short of skilled labour.

It said that informal sector has seasonal employment which “is characterized by high levels of under employment, skill shortages” and has “rigid” labour laws.

The findings pose question to Modi-government’s promise of “acche din” or good days that rode to victory in 2014 Lok Sabha elections on promises of providing jobs to people.

Also read: Downside risks to 6.75-7.5 % growth; RBI has overestimated inflation risks, says Economic Survey

The Survey, which was authored by chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian and his team, also put under scanner Prime Minister’s skill training programme, ‘Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana’ by labeling it as a provider of “short-term skill” training scheme.

“Skilled labour force is essential to meet diversified demands of a growing economy, to tap the benefit of demographic dividend. As per the India Skill Report 2016, the present demographic advantage of India is predicted to last only till 2040,” said the Survey, which was tabled in Parliament on Friday.

India needs an incremental human resource strength of 103.4 million by 2022 across 24 priority sectors.

The mid-term Survey, however, said that efforts are being made to enhance quality of skill training by starting a competency based framework which gives individuals an option to “progress through education, training, prior learning and experience”.

“The focus currently is on enhancing the quality of Skill Training Programs and making Vocational Training aspirational”.

Indian labour market adds 72 lakh members every year to its workforce, according to Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), a trade body.

According to data revealed by Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, a business information company that produces business and economic database, potential workforce bloated by 9.7 million people during January to April, 2017 to touch 960 million mark.

It was, however, reported that 1.5 million people lost jobs during this period.

“While the number of persons employed fell by 1.5 million, the number of people who declared themselves unemployed fell much more – by 9.6 million. As a result, the labour force fell by 11 million,” the data said.

The impending “crisis” was earlier highlighted by Tharman Shanmugaratnam, deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, who said that jobs remain “biggest challenge” for India.

“India has lost time in implementing employment legislations that are actually anti-employment,” he had said.

He said that the education and skills in India do not add value to people, leaving them unprepared for jobs.

Read more: Money Control