Expectations from Union Budget 2014-Growth through Employment Generation
As evident from the election manifestoes the Modi Sarkar is expected to come up with policies to boost the manufacturing sector. But to sustain the labour force required for it is yet a big issue. The working class consists of the people in age group 15-24. About 65% of the total population of India lies in this age group. India has more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and more than 65% below the age of 35. The country with rich resource of man power has not been able to harness its potential.
India missed opportunity in textiles and clothing a labour-intensive industry that was dominated by China. In 2011 McKinsey, a consultancy, found that purchasing managers at global clothing firms slowly shifting their sourcing from China; their favoured new destinations included Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia—but not India. This probably can be attributed to the low growth textiles due to lack of skilled labours.
The previous government came up with schemes like NREGA as a gimmick for the immediate cause of unemployment. Such a populist scheme merely provided employment. It included no measures to develop the skills of the masses engaged under this scheme. Increased labour-wages and lethargic labours came out as the output of this scheme. Budget 2014-15 is hoped to bring some skill development measures so that the country can get best out of its huge man-power resource.
India will soon have a fifth of the world’s working-age population. It urgently needs to provide them with better jobs.
Again not only the quantity of jobs but the quality matters too. We can see armies of guards, peons, delivery boys and men who sit on stools in lifts pressing the buttons. About 85% of India’s jobs are with “informal” enterprises—those organizations with fewer than ten staff which are not incorporated. Another 11% are casual jobs with formal companies. Only 16% of Indians get a regular wage. People with informal jobs are usually very poor. An official study of 2004-05 data concludes that 80% of informal workers got less than the then national minimum wage of $1.46 a day.
The other hurdle in manufacturing sector is the stringent Indian law which delays the setting up of industries. Since 2000 India has tried carving out special economic zones (SEZs) to create islands with lower taxes and access to infrastructure, where manufacturers can feel at home. But these have been a limited success, with many dominated by IT firms. The government should bring up a plan to expedite the industry establishment process.
Here are mentioned only a few steps that should be taken by the government. It needs to plan many more strategies in the upcoming budget to fulfill the expectations of the people who hope that- “ ÁCHHE DIN ANEWALE HAIN “.
"This article is written by Janhavi Jilhare, a PGDM student of 2014 batch She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org"