Instead of pakoda talk, PM Modi should see the data—India now has the largest number of unemployed

Before making his reductive ‘pakoda’ comments in context of high levels of unemployment, the Prime Minister and his colleagues should have seen the data released by ILO and the Union Labour Ministry

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter
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Tasleem Khan

India now has the largest number of unemployed in the world. A whopping 11% of the country’s population—about 12 crore people—are unemployed. These are the people who can work, but have not been able to find work or employment. In numbers, 12 crore people of the country are unemployed. On an average, every day about 550 job opportunities have been lost and the opportunities for self-employment have also gone down. This data has been released by the International Labour Organisation and the Employment Survey by the Modi government’s Labour Ministry.

When PM Modi referred to pakoda-selling as a job opportunity in reply to a question on unemployment during a television interview a few days back, the debate over unemployment once again heated up. The pakoda issue was again picked up by the BJP National President Amit Shah in his maiden parliamentary speech. Prime Minister also referred to unemployment data in his speech in the Lok Sabha on February 7.

Meanwhile, the data which has emerged shows that the situation of unemployment in the country is very grim. A report released by the International Labour Organisation reveals that by year 2019, three fourths of employees and professionals will be on the verge of losing their jobs, or will not get work according to their capability and experience.

According to the report, about 39.8 crore out of a total 53.4 crore working people presently will not get work or jobs according to their capability. Moreover, they will be facing a serious threat of losing their jobs. Although the estimated rate of unemployment during 2017-19 will remain about 3.5%, this percentage is much higher among the age group of 15 to 24 years. According to the data, the unemployment percentage among 15 to 24 years of youth in 2017 was 10.5%, which may reach to 10.7% by 2019. Besides, in the last three years, the rate of unemployment has grown rapidly. The situation is worse as far as the female workforce is concerned. The ILO report says that in the last four years, the rate of unemployment among women has reached up to 8.7%.

Data which has emerged shows that the situation of unemployment in the country is very grim. A report released by the International Labour Organisation reveals that by year 2019, three fourths of employees and professionals will be on the verge of losing their jobs, or will not get work according to their capability and experience

The survey conducted by the Labour Bureau of the Labour ministry also shows that the rate of unemployment has reached alarming levels in last five years.

Recently in his speech in the Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “I want to ask my friends in Congress, you give the data of unemployment to the entire country, then please share the data related to employment also. Do not mislead the country in the name of employment and unemployment. The middle class of today does not beg for a job. Today, children of IAS officers are also starting their own ventures.”

If only the prime minister had seen the data of his own labour ministry and ILO, he would have realised that the jobs and employment situation is very grave in the country and the need of the hour is not to create new jumlas and stories, but to take proper steps to resolve the problem.

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