Manufacturing Vs Agriculture which one can create employment opportunities in a nation of billion people. India is the world’s fastest-growing major economy with the largest youth population. Indian government plans to create 20 million jobs a year for the next five months, by focusing primarily on manufacturing.
The agricultural sector has been neglected when in fact it has the potential to reboot the economy. Arun Jaitley’s focus should therefore be on revitalizing agriculture. Budget 2016 provides the opportunity to do this.
Agriculture is a very important sector of the Indian economy. It is because it provides employment to roughly half of India’s workforce and contributes to 17% of India’s GDP. Since independence, a lot of changes have been observed in the sector.
We are in a moment when the global economy shows no signs of revival. Russia and Japan are faced with recession, and emerging economies like Brazil and South Africa are in dire straits. There is no silver lining visible as far as domestic industrial growth is concerned. At such a time, all eyes are on Union finance minister Arun Jaitley to see how he plans to sustain economic growth that eventually leads to job-led growth.
In general, however, it should be getting easier for women in India to join the workforce, they are now better educated, have fewer children and live in a growing economy. But more needs to be done to get a higher number of women into the workforce and allow those who are there to make maximum use of their talents and energy and get paid properly for doing so. Preventing them from doing this restricts the prospects of future national social and economic growth.
The Indian government does attach a lot of importance to the development of the manufacturing sector, which is why you have national initiatives like Make in India and Skill India among others. This sector does help in assuring better-quality jobs.
Growth without jobs is meaningless. For the past 12 years, despite its rate being high, India’s growth has been largely jobless, with only 15 million jobs created during the 10 years of the UPA regime. With employment per factory declining steeply over the years, the chances for a revival seem difficult.
Rather, at a time when jobs are scarce and farm incomes have declined, Arun Jaitley’s focus should be on reviving agriculture instead of creating an army of ‘deharimazdoor’. This will provide gainful employment to those who are already engaged in farming, and in turn will create more domestic demand.
It will be important for India to promote greater industrialization if it is to meet the macroeconomic and labor market objectives outlined in the Make in India initiative. But India also needs to address the issue of increased informality (workers in the informal sector) and the trend of informality creeping into the formal sector. It also needs to see how best to introduce skills at all levels, so that people are employed meaningfully.
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