India will become the youngest country in the world by 2020 with a median age of 29. And while this opens up a world of possibilities, things could go haywire if there is a ‘death’ in employment and job creation. According to NDTV, which quotes the Labour Bureau reports, unemployment in India is at a 5 year high and the annual rate of job creation has bThe unskilled or low skilled workers are employed but they do not receive enough remuneration to support themselves.een dropping. Speaking on the issue today, NITI Ayog Deputy Chairman Dr Arvind Panagariya said that a change was very much in the making. Speaking to NDTV, he said that entrepreneurs once had a very Brahminical approach towards entrepreneurship and that at present they wanted to invest in tech sectors and not in sectors labout intensive areas such as clothing or footwear. The bigger problem, he says is underemployment in comparison to unemployment. And such workers are mostly employed in industries like textiles etc. Although it was a challenge to expand jobs, according to NDTV, 70 lakh people joined the workforce annually, he revealed. “Industrialists are hardwired to focus on tech like sectors and not go into areas like clothing where you deal with large amount of job creation”, says Arvind Panagariya.
Dr Panagariya was also asked about the problems of demonetisation and the effect it had on the informal sector. Dr Panagariya said that according to another Labour Bureau report, almost 1.35 lakh jobs had been lost during the last quarter of 2016. The NITI Ayog deputy chairman says that one cannot just count on a quarterly basis. He says that the analysts and experts always speak about the number of jobs that were lost but not the number of jobs that were created. Jobs, like products, appear and disappear, he added. Dr Panagariya informs that the government does not have any high-quality concrete numbers on unemployment on a short term basis. He said that the most reliable surveys are conducted every 5 years and the last one had taken place in 2011-12.
Dr Panagariya was also asked about what the government had achieved in the 3 years of its term. To which, he replied that this government has come into power after so many years of mismanagement. He added that after many years of mismanagement all the damage has to be undone. He also addressed the fear of automation taking away jobs in India and said that clothing was one of the biggest sources of employment and even today there was no robot that could stitch two pieces of cloth together. He assures that automation causing any distress in the country would take at least a decade or more. He concluded by saying that India was growing at 7-7.5% and the government had seen a rise in wages when the country’s economy had briefly grown at 8%.