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70 Million Jobs in The Next Five Years? The Congress Party May Have a Plan

A recent report has revealed that unemployment rose to a 45-year high in 2017-2018 under the Modi government.

With the country’s unemployment rate being at a 45-year-high of 6.1 per cent in 2017-18 — according to the unreleased findings of the National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO’s) periodic labour force survey — promises of employment and job creation are the kingmakers in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

The Congress party is preparing a roadmap for generating millions of jobs. As per a report in the Economic Times, a paper titled, “Jobful Growth — How to Achieve It in 2019-2024,” has been prepared by the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Contemporary Studies, an independent national policy think tank promoted by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, and has been submitted to party president Rahul Gandhi.

The paper reportedly charts the path towards creating 70 million jobs in the next five years: “If we are aiming at a policy breakthrough in the employment of all the new entrants to the labour force plus the backlog of the unemployed, a total of seven crore jobs need to be created in the 2019-2024 period.”

Also Read: Death Of The India Story? Unemployment in India at 45-Year High

The paper further adds that this represents a compounded annual growth rate of 3.2 per cent per annum for employment, as against an estimated 0.8 to 1.2 per cent in the past eight years. It determines that 29.4 million people are looking for jobs at present and that another 40.7 million people would enter the job market between 2019 and 2024, pushing the total job requirement to a little more than 70 million.

“Generating near full employment in any economy with a high annual increment to the labour force is a proposition that will require a massive political will to redirect public investments towards sectors that generate employment. All this requires deep thinking and this paper merely makes a beginning,” notes the paper.

The paper, the ET report says, recommends a new model for job creation that focuses on high employment generating sectors, which account for about 30 per cent of the GDP but create 72 per cent of jobs. The focus areas include agriculture, regeneration of natural resources, housing and lower end infrastructure building, manufacturing through micro, small and medium enterprises, and services.

The Congress party, in addition, has promised to introduce a minimum income guarantee for the poor, upon coming to power following the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Also read: Basic Rural Income Can Be Funded by Scrapping Dysfunctional Schemes Like Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana: Former CEA Arvind Subramanian

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