Mumbai : With minimal or almost no data available around job creation (or employment rate) since 2012-16, it gets exceedingly difficult to understand where India stands in employment. But there is one thing that India for sure needs to work towards and that is creating quality jobs then just creating more jobs.

“Lack of data in the job creation space, makes it difficult to understand the impact of ‘Make in India’ campaign,” stated S Mahendra Dev, vice chancellor and director, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai. Even though Dev believes this campaign is in the right direction. Adding to this, Indranil Pan, chief economist of IDFC bank said, “Measurability (in employment) becomes a critical issue as we do not have data.” But he believes there is growth in employment level/ job creation otherwise people of the country would be on streets to express their discontent.

During a lecture organised by Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dev pointed that it is difficult to interlink GDP growth to growth in employment rate. His comment is by backed by the data from various Asian countries which saw growth in their GDP but their employment rate was not meeting that growth. This was same in case of China too.

China’s social security parameters and early adoption of agricultural reform among other factors worked in the country’s favour to achieve growth, which India clearly lacks in.

In the Indian economy, agriculture continues to be a holy grail. Either work done in this area continues to be small in scale or some areas of this holy grail in still untouchable (due to political motive attached to it). Pan said, “Agriculture is not flourishing in India… as there is a lack of shine to the agriculture labour in India. There is a critical need to make agriculture attractive.”

As per data, 48 per cent of the labour force of the country continue to be in agriculture sector which 14 per cent of GDP. Pan said, “There is a scope of increasing GDP in the agriculture side.”

He added further, “We have missed out the interlaying of manufacturing sector. We are paying lot less in manufacturing sector which is why we jumped from the agriculture sector to the services sector and not necessarily the financial or IT sector.” There is growing number of people who are moving from agriculture sector to non-agriculture sector and India is not ready to support this huge work force.

Pan also raised a question around the profitability in agriculture. He said that food inflation continues to play a big part in inflation. “Even more problematic issue is that they (government) are  not able to push pulses rate towards minimum selling price,” added Pan.

Adding to it, Dev said, “We have not done enough for agriculture price stability which is important.”

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Free Press Journal