Budget 2020: Small cities’ big role in jobs creation; this govt scheme can be the driving force

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February 1, 2020 6:15 AM

Budget 2020 India: Make labour codes a reality and get them operational from 1st April. India has 44 central laws, 387 state labour laws, 67 central labour filing, 1,333 state labour filings, 674 central compliances and 26,484 labour compliances.

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Budget 2020-21: Pessimistic sentiment across industries have led to subdued consumption which in-turn has also taken a toll on the employment generation in the country. However, Tier II and III cities and semi-urban areas can overcome this pain if they have clear and focused development to help generate employment opportunities within them. Apart from the government’s infrastructure development projects and social welfare schemes that can generate at least five million jobs every year, absorbing nearly half the number that enters the country’s workforce, the new emerging cities will eventually become the new job-generating resources for India,” Rituparna Chakraborty, President, Indian Staffing Federation, told Samrat Sharma of Financial Express Online in an interview. Developing skills and training across sectors, and not alone higher education, may exponentially boost employment in the country, Rituparna Chakraborty added. Here are the edited excerpts:

What are your recommendations for the upcoming budget after recent steps taken in the field of labour reforms in 2019?

Make labour codes a reality and get them operational from 1st April. India has 44 central laws, 387 state labour laws, 67 central labour filing, 1,333 state labour filings, 674 central compliances and 26,484 labour compliances. Simplification, rationalization, digitisation of labour laws should be operational on an immediate basis to make them comprehensive, effective, easy to comply. Subsuming our labour laws based on relevance into four labour codes is our first step in that direction and to have the ground result, its critical we start speedy implementation.

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What according to you has been a barrier in generating employment?

Vocational training and jobs are slowly gaining momentum in the education sector thus renewed focus on investing in skills across all sectors is necessary. In fact, vocational job salaries have consistently risen above salaries of those with engineering and MBA degrees from bottom rung institutes. Skillsets across sectors are also witnessing tremendous demand within industry. It is important that the government give equal weightage and importance in developing skills and training across sectors and not alone higher education, to help pass the benefit of landing on a well-paid job at all employee strata.

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To increase jobs, which scheme would you suggest the government to focus more?

Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) should be extended. The extension of PMRPY scheme is important since it would help the pool of new workforce to avail its benefits, which will include the access to social security benefit through Provident Fund, Pension and Death Linked Insurance, and also encourage more hiring among employers due to the incentive play thereby increasing job generation in the economy.

Apart from direct job creation, what other factors should be kept in mind to keep up the pace of job creation?

There should be a complete utilisation of infrastructure and development outlay to generate employment beyond cities, which would put more money in the hands of people. The government should focus on urbanisation, smart cities, and infrastructural development on top priority to etch a well comprehensive growth trajectory of a country. Tier II and III cities and semi-urban areas need to have clear and focused development to help generate employment opportunities within them.

Not only government’s infrastructure development projects and social welfare schemes can generate at least five million jobs every year, absorbing nearly half of the 10 million people who annually enter the country’s workforce but if implemented well, these new emerging cities will eventually become the new job generating resources for India.

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What are the different sectors that need a big push during this budget session?

It has become important to bring back positive sentiment in domestic consumption by specifically focusing on unshackling potentially high employment-generating sectors like telecom, e-commerce, and automobiles. Slight shifts in sentiment amongst sectors can have a huge impact on employment. 2019 witnessed a marked slowdown in automobile, manufacturing and engineering sectors, which are high employment-generating industries due to which apprehensions have crept in terms of jobs within these areas. It is thus important that the government takes steps to regain lost positivity and belief in the growth of these sectors through necessary budgeting and policy initiatives.

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