New Delhi: While there has been a growing resentment across the country over the job crisis under the Modi rule, the interim Finance Minister today cleverly avoided the issue in his budget speech in the Parliament.
The Modi government has come under sharp criticism from all quarters, particularly from the middle class families following the National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO’s) latest jobs survey that shows that unemployment in India has reached a 45-year high, a sharp contrast to the BJP's 2014 poll promise of adding 10 million new jobs if voted to power.
Instead of creating new jobs, more than 10 million of them were reportedly wiped out in 2018 alone, revealed the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy.
The survey pointed out that the unemployment rate last December stood at a 27-month high of 7.38%.
The NDA government does not admit its failure for the current job scenario. It has shown no interest in releasing these official figures due to the fear of backlash in the elections. Indeed, two of the National Statistical Commission members had resigned from their jobs protesting delay in release of the data by the Central Government.
The survey report made public just the day before the Modi government presented its final Budget.
When Goyal raised to give his budget speech today, everybody was keenly waiting to hear from the Finance Minister on the job crisis.
Goyal talked about jobs and employment opportunities on several occasions in his lengthy speech, but did not refer to these reports.
Here are what he said:
“The insolvency and bankruptcy code has institutionalised a resolution-friendly mechanism, which is helping in (the) recovery of non-performing loans while preserving the underlying businesses and jobs.”
“Expanding rural industrialisation using modern digital technologies to generate massive employment is the fourth dimension of our vision.”
“High growth and formalisation of the economy has led to the expansion of employment opportunities as shown in EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation) membership, which has increased by nearly 2 crore (20 million) in two years reflecting formalisation of the economy and job creations.”
“The concept of employment is changing all over the world, now the employment generation is not confined merely to government services or factories. With job seekers becoming job creators, India has become the world’s second largest start-up hub.”
“Domestic (air) passenger traffic has doubled during the last five years leading to large number of jobs being created also.”
“Introduction of the first indigenously developed and manufactured semi high-speed ‘Vande Bharat Express’ (train) will give the Indian passengers world class experience with speed, service and safety. This major leap in wholly developed technology by our engineers will give an impetus to the Make in India programme and create jobs.”
“India’s installed solar generation capacity has grown over 10 times in last five years. This sector is now creating lakhs of new age jobs.”
“Today, under Make in India, mobile and parts manufacturing companies have increased from 2 to more than 268, providing huge job opportunities.”
“Digital infrastructure and digital economy of 2030 will be built upon the successes achieved in recent years in digitisation of government processes and private transactions. Our youth will lead us in this endeavour with innumerable start-ups creating digital India and millions of jobs in this eco-system.”
With elections round the corner, Goyal did a good PR job for the Modi government managing the situation.