Job creation has picked up pace in Madhya Pradesh in the last three years after remaining sluggish for a decade and the state government has said it is focusing on entrepreneurship and imparting skills to the youth to deal with the issue of unemployment. However, the opposition Congress has claimed the job scenario in the state, which goes to the polls by the year-end, is bad. Official data showed on an average only 17,600 jobs have been created every year in the past 14 years of the BJP rule in the state.
The data was provided in response to a query asked by Congress MLA Ram Niwas Rawat during the recently concluded budget session of the Assembly. On an average 17,615 jobs were generated every year in public, private and cooperative sectors in the last 14 years (from 2014 to 2017), according to the figures.
The state government has drawn flak from unemployed youths for raising the retirement age of its employees to 62 from 60 years now, saying this will reduce employment opportunism for them. The data showed 2,46,612 jobs were generated in the state between 2004 and 2017. Of these, 2,27,386 jobs came from the private sector.
The Economic Survey presented during the session said the number of educated unemployed stood at 11.24 lakh by the end of 2016. “The government has admitted in the reply to the MLA’s query that unemployment has gone up by 16.4 per cent. The government’s own data suggests it has not taken steps to curb unemployment,” Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Ajay Singh of the Congress said. In 2004, the number of unemployed (registered in state government-run employment exchanges) was 20,29,939, which went up to 23,78,559 by January 2018, the reply said.
“The BJP’s promise of providing two crore jobs to the youth every year in the country was a just gimmick. There are about 1.5 crore jobless youths in Madhya Pradesh alone,” he claimed. The data, however, suggested the number of persons who got jobs has been increasing gradually in the last three years. In the past three years – 2015, 2016 and 2017 – jobs were given to 1,15,740 people in the state. So, almost half the jobs offered in the past 14 years were generated in the last three years.
In the remaining 11 years, only 1,30,872 employment avenues were offered. Minister of State for Technical Education and Skill Development Deepak Joshi said the government is focusing on imparting skills and promoting entrepreneurship among youths. There is a practice of youths registering themselves with employment exchanges just after completing graduation, he said.
“We are making efforts to develop skills and promote entrepreneurship among youths. There is a practice of getting registered with employment exchanges just after graduation. Even youths engaged in family business or doing other jobs get registered with employment exchanges,” Joshi told PTI. “We have set a target of providing skill training to 7.5 lakh youths this year and the state government will also help them in setting up their own ventures.”
Joshi said increasing the retirement age of government staffers would not affect job opportunities for youths. “Increasing the retirement age doesn’t mean job opportunities for youths would get reduced. We are creating more opportunities in other (non-government) sectors. “A person wants a government job due to various reasons, including security. Job opportunities in the state have gone up in the past couple of years,” he claimed.
However, the Berojgar Sena, an outfit of the educated unemployed, differed with the government data and said it does not reflect the true picture. “The official data talks only about the registered unemployed. Only 10 per cent of the jobless get registered with government-run employment exchanges,” said Akshay Hunka, chief of the Berojgar Sena.
“There are 1.5 crore youths in the state and half of them are either unemployed or doing jobs that are not in accordance with their educational qualifications. “Like, several engineers are working as delivery boys. The government’s decision to increase the age limit (for retirement of its staffers) would reduce job opportunities. “Almost 20,000 employees/officials get retired every year in the state,” said Hunka.