Modi's plan to create jobs with 2024 in sight – Deccan Herald

The central government’s announcement that it would recruit 10 lakh people in ministries and departments over the next one-and-a-half years has arisen from the realisation that the employment situation in the country has gone from bad to worse. Even when the economy was in better health in the initial years of the government, the growth was jobless, or at least ‘jobs-lite’. There used to be stout defences from the government’s side that jobs were being created but the situation in the workplaces contradicted the claims. The present job plan is an admission that the government’s performance has been below par and the private sector has not created many jobs. It is now time to start thinking about jobs because the government will have to answer questions about it in the next general elections in 2024. Hence the time span of 18 months for the creation of these 10 lakh jobs. 
While recruitment to so many jobs is welcome, the plan raises questions and practical issues. The benefits are obvious. An increase in employment on this scale can give a boost to incomes and help hold up falling demand and consumption in an economy struggling with inflation and tepid sentiment. But the first question would be whether the government services can absorb so many jobs in such a short time. Between 2006 and 2014, the average recruitment in the central government services was about one lakh each year. It was erratic after that. Another question is whether the right appointments can be made in the right manner and in priority areas like education and health when the plan becomes a rush job and almost a jobs mela. The government had reduced intake because jobs increased its financial burden. How will it support the jobs now? 
But the discomforting fact is that even this plan, which is only about filling up vacancies, is far too inadequate when about 120 lakh youth enter the working-age population and about 60 lakh new jobs have to be created every year. This is over and above the existing army of unemployed and underemployed persons. It is clear that the economy has to pick up and the private sector will have to start creating jobs to meet even a part of the demand. The most important question is whether the plan will be implemented. In 2014, Narendra Modi, then campaigning, had promised to create two crore jobs every year if the BJP came to power. But jobs have actually been lost since. In the Union budget presented earlier this year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman promised creation of 60 lakh jobs in five years. Promises need to be translated into jobs.
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