Too Early To Look For Jobs
Bureaucracy Today|July 2017
Too Early To Look For Jobs

On completion of three years in office even as Team Modi is disseminating its achievements to the public at large, Opposition parties, mainly the Congress, have projected a counter-narrative. The most damning indictment relates to the generation of a few hundred thousand jobs as against the BJP’s promise of creating 10 million every year. This is based on Labour Bureau data on eight sectors. These cover the workforce of just about 30 million (besides, there are methodological flaws in the estimation) as against the total employment of 470 million, including that in agriculture and the informal sector. Therefore, any inference using these numbers could be misleading.

Uttam Gupta

Looking at the Indian job data in isolation would be a grave mistake. The more important aspects to look at are – investment in infrastructure like building roads, rails, ports, airports, affordable housing, toilets, electricity stations, schools and hospitals; creating a conducive policy environment for attracting private investment; increasing ease of doing business and pushing to small and medium enterprises.

The flaw in merely looking at jobs per se becomes apparent when one considers the fundamental fact that employment can only follow (not precede) investment in production-related activities. For instance, only after a road project is approved, all clearances obtained, land acquired and finances tied up can the work be started. Only then, jobs are created. You cannot put the cart before the horse!

So, a pertinent question to ask is whether the Modi Government has done the right things in all these areas. The answer is a resounding “yes”. There is evidence galore to demonstrate that it has acted with alacrity mobilizing necessary wherewithal to make it happen. Six broad areas of action need mention here.

First, the Modi Government has put an end to policy paralysis that had characterized the erstwhile UPA dispensation. We have a decisive Prime Minister who has a clear vision, knows what to do and what not to do and has the capacity to steer things on a well defined trajectory taking the entire Cabinet along. This ensures that decisions are taken on fast track and implemented within strict deadlines.



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July 2017