At a time when reports on employment and job creation have yielded worrying results, here’s what the BJP and the Congress have promised to fix the crisis in India.

Jobs in India 2019 What BJP and Congresss manifestos promise ahead of 2019 polls
news Lok Sabha 2019 Monday, April 08, 2019 - 14:07

The fact that India is facing a job crisis is not news. The lack of employment opportunities is seen by the Indian public as the biggest issue ahead of elections. In most of the pre-poll surveys conducted in the run-up of the Lok Sabha elections, better employment opportunities featured among the top 10 governance issues for Indian voters in terms of priority – and in most surveys, at number 1.

A review of the National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO) Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2017-18 report, which is yet to be made public, had shown some worrying results.  The number of men employed in the country has fallen down by nearly 2 crores between 2011-12 and 2017-18. The report had also put the unemployment rate for males in urban and rural segments at 7.1 per cent and 5.8 per cent, respectively.

At such a time, the ruling BJP and the Congress, the main opposition party, have both released their manifestos for the crucial Lok Sabha Elections. Here is what both parties promised when it comes to employment and job creation.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s manifesto for the polls reiterates the promises it made before the 2014 Elections. In its manifesto, the BJP does not announce specific projects but promises to take forward its aim of developing India into a ‘knowledge-based, skill-supported and technology-driven society.

“We understand that clustering and network effects are important in order to build competitiveness in cutting edge industries. Therefore, we will invest in creating clusters/networks that can take on the world’s best. Public procurement and government incentives will be used actively to build up these clusters and encourage job creation,” the BJP’s manifesto reads.

The BJP has also promised to increase public and private investment so that the number of jobs created also increases.

“We will continue the fast pace with more and more public and private investment and efficient ground level management on the building of infrastructure further and to improve the quality of life and enhance the ease of living. In addition to ensuring efficiency in the economy, this will also lead to the creation of a large number of jobs and livelihood opportunities,” the manifesto promises.

The BJP has said that it will set-up new 'Entrepreneurial Northeast' scheme to provide financial support to the micro, small and medium industries and for employment generation in northeastern states. In the next 5 years, to ensure financial empowerment among women in rural and semi-rural areas, the BJP has promised to ensure access to credit and other resources, capacity building, market and distribution network for women entrepreneurs, self-help groups and women farmers. 

The BJP has also promised to make sure that the economically weaker sections (EWS) of the society also get access to government jobs and get their fair representation.

“We have decisively ensured that the economically weaker sections (EWS) of the society who belong to the non-reserved category are represented and have access to government jobs and higher education through the 10% EWS reservation which was long overdue. We will implement the law in the same spirit while ensuring that SCs, STs and OBCs continue to have their fair representation,” the manifesto states.

Meanwhile, Congress has promised to ensure 34 lakh jobs in the public sector by filling all 4 lakh central government vacancies before March 2020 and asking the state governments to fill their 20 lakh vacancies. The Congress has promised to launch relaunch its flagship scheme MGNREGA 3.0 by guaranteeing employment for 150 days as against 100 days earlier.

The Congress has promised a new Ministry of Industry, Services and Employment in order to underline the link between the growth of the industry and services sectors and rapid creation of jobs. The Congress has also promised that application fees for government examination and government posts will be abolished.