Lucknow: Reverse migration of workers has posed a major challenge for their livelihood in the home states. Uttar Pradesh too stares at a sudden rise in the jobless population. Yogi Adityanath-led UP government has announced the state’s Micro, Small and Medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) can provide 90 lakh jobs. “The CM has also directed the officials to expand the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) to accommodate 50 lakh workers every day”, the govt spokesperson said on Tuesday. Such tall claims have stunned the experts, especially since the national and international agencies have predicted massive job losses across the sectors.
The state already had 34 lakh unemployed people just before lockdown, 54% more compared to two years ago, UP’s labour minister Swami Prasad Maurya had told the state assembly in a written reply in February 2020. The idea behind creation of nearly one crore jobs in MSMEs is based on the assumption each of the 90 lakh units registered with the government can create one job each. Incidentally, the lockdown has hit the MSMEs the hard. Although the restrictions are relaxed to help industries and businesses open quickly, few have started by far that too with minimal production.
“Most units had been facing tough times for several years due to dwindling demands and economic slowdown. Most have not paid salaries for months even before lockdown. They may take time to cope with the impact. Expecting them to hire more is daydreaming,” says Hemant Tiwari, political analyst. —Kanchan Srivastava