Employment special: Govt to bring out journal on jobs generated
The special edition of the monthly journal ‘Yojana’ will carry details of the jobs or avenues for self-employment created by various government ministries and departments in the past four years.Updated: Jul 09, 2018 23:06 IST
The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) will come out with a special issue on ‘employment and self-employment’ in a bid to counter allegations that the Narendra Modi government not been able to fulfil its election promise of creating jobs and avenues for entrepreneurs, according to officials familiar with the developments.
The special edition of the monthly journal ‘Yojana’, coinciding with the Independence Day celebrations, will carry details of the jobs or avenues for self-employment created by various government ministries and departments in the past four years.
The MIB secretary did not respond to queries from HT. Two of the officials cited above said the ministry has set out to collate data and letters have been sent to key departments such as the ministry of labour and employment, the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises, the ministry rural development, and the government think-tank NITI Aayog, among several others. Secretaries of some ministries have also been asked to either write pieces on the issue or give interviews highlighting their job-creation numbers.
Even as the Opposition has been attacking the government for failing to fulfil its promise of job creation, Prime Minister Modi had said in a recent interview that the problem was “lack of data, not lack of jobs”.
An official in the ministry of social justice and empowerment declined to comment on whether the ministry was contributing to the special edition but said it does its bit for job creation by giving loans and helping venture capitalists.
“We are focusing on self-employment, under the venture capital fund for scheduled castes, started in 2014-15. So far Rs 255 crore has been sanctioned to 71 entrepreneurs. Venture capital fund for OBCs (other backward classes) was launched with an initial corpus of Rs 200 crore, of which Rs 140 crore was provided in 2018-19,” the official said.
Job creation was a major poll plank of the BJP before it swept to power in 2014 with a thumping majority.
In its election manifesto, it had hit out at the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government for dragging the country through “10 years of jobless growth” and had promised to “accord high priority to job creation and opportunities for entrepreneurship”.
It had talked of strategically developing high impact domains such as labour-intensive manufacturing in areas of textile, footwear, electronics assembly and tourism.
As pressure from Opposition leaders is mounting, and unemployment is expected to emerge as a poll issue, the Union government has accelerated the process of publicising its achievements.
A senior government functionary who asked not to be named said all ministers have been asked to “give adequate publicity” to the “positive developments” in their sector during public interactions and through social media outreach.
Jayan J Thomas, an associate professor of economics at IIT-Delhi, said the data that is available should be correctly interpreted as the variations in jobs could be attributed to several factors. “It is unfortunate that we have discontinued surveys such as the NSSO (National Sample Survey Office) survey on employment and unemployment and for the past six years we don’t have credible data, but whatever will be available will also need to be interpreted in a wider perspective,” he said.
KP Kannan, chairman of the Laurie Baker Centre for Habitat Studies, said the overall economic situation is not one that lends any credence to the talk of having created more employment, certainly not 10 million per annum as was promised.
“Investment rate has declined from 36% of GDP in 2007 to 26% in 2017. The latest Economic Survey of the government expressed its anguish over this. How can there be growth in employment without a growth in investment? Unless of course there is a declining capital-output ratio that is highly unlikely... Banks have increased NPAs. They are shy to lend and companies shy to borrow. How can there be more employment in such a scenario?”
In April, the government refuted claims that it has not been able to create jobs. Its think tank Niti Aayog said that based on the additions made in payrolls from Employees’ Provision Fund Organisation for all age-groups, 31.1 lakh new jobs were created in formal sector between September 2017 to February 2018.
First Published: Jul 09, 2018 23:06 IST