Centre sets up panel to suggest on new jobs

Task force to report by November

Updated - September 06, 2017 10:38 pm IST

Published - September 06, 2017 10:29 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The NDA government has constituted a new task force led by NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar to recommend measures to increase employment by promoting labour-intensive exports.

“While the Indian workforce has high aspirations, a majority of the workers are still employed in low-productivity, low-wage jobs in small, micro and own-account enterprises. An urgent and sustained expansion of the organized sector is essential to address India’s unemployment and under-employment issue,” the NITI Aayog said in a statement on Wednesday.

The constitution of the task force, which includes several industry representatives as well as secretaries of key economic ministries along with Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, indicates the government is concerned about its job creation record and is moving away from its previous approach of blaming the lack of credible employment data.

The previous vice chairman of the Aayog Arvind Panagariya was tasked with leading a committee in May this year, to recommend improvements for employment-related data in the country. The committee’s final report was expected to be submitted ahead of Dr Panagariya’s exit from the think tank at the end of August.

Key strategy

“An important strategy is to enable a shift towards more labour-intensive goods and services that are destined for exports. Given the importance of exports in generating jobs, India needs to create an environment in which globally competitive exporters can emerge and flourish,” the Aayog noted on Wednesday. The committee led by Mr. Kumar, who had said that policies to spur job creation will be one of his top priorities at the think tank, has been asked to submit its report by November 2017.

The terms of reference for the task force which has been asked to help create ‘well-paid, formal sector jobs’ include sector-specific policy interventions, measures to enhance services trade where there is high employment potential and identifying macro-economic factors holding back exports.

The task force shall propose a comprehensive action plan to generate jobs as well as fix ‘under-employment’, ascertain the effectiveness of existing export promotion schemes and logistical or trade facilitation issues.

The panel will also examine how trade data can be improved so that ‘it is reliable, globally comparable and timely, particularly with respect to trade in services.’

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