Special Correspondent

Move must centre on higher levels of public investment

  • Myth that unorganised sector is more than compensating for `job loss' stands exposed
  • Contribution of unorganised sector declined between 1994 and 2000 by 4.6 per cent

    NEW DELHI: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has called for a paradigm shift in the United Progressive Alliance Government's policies for economic reforms to check the "alarming trend" of declining employment rate.

    Referring to a recent study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India on the relationships between GDP and employment, which showed a distinct decline in employment in the organised sector in recent years, the party said it showed that though India had registered an average of 5.3 per cent GDP growth between 1998 and 2003, the growth of employment over this period declined by 4.14 per cent in the sector. Of this 4.32 per cent was due to fall in the public sector and 3.74 per cent in the private sector.

    "The time has come for this UPA Government to, once again, realise that a part of the people's mandate in the 2004 general elections, which brought it to power, was the desire for a change in the focus of the economic policies from being solely preoccupied with corporate profits towards improving people's welfare.

    Employment issues

    Refusing to believe such reality, the liberalisation pundits continue to argue that the fall in employment in the organised sector is more than made up by the growth of employment in the unorganised sector," the editorial in the latest issue of party organ People's Democracy said.

    The party said it had repeatedly pointed out that if this was ever so, much of this was because the corporate world has been increasingly shifting the nature of employment from permanent jobs into those with contracts and casual status.

    There is a double advantage seen by the corporate sector in such a strategy. First, they need not take any responsibility for providing any social security welfare measures for contract of casual labour. Secondly, such workers would be more prone to stay away from trade union activity.

    The study showed that the contribution of the unorganised sector to the GDP declined between 1994 and 2000 by 4.6 per cent. During this period, including the trend of increasing contract casual appointments, the employment growth in the unorganised sector was a mere 1.12 per cent. "Hence, the myth that the unorganised sector is more than compensating for `job loss' in the organised sector stands exposed," it said.

    The party said the Government should address this through the Common Minimum Programme.

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