Every year 12 million young people enter our job market searching for a livelihood. A majority of these young individuals have a high school education or less and are desperately seeking a mechanism to transform their lives. It is the responsibility of the government to organise the state machinery in a manner that will best suit the needs of these Indians.
In terms of an economic vision that would invigorate job creation in India, the prudent decision would be to adopt the same measures as former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, but mould them to suit the current economic atmosphere. The Congress party has predominantly been adaptable towards the requirements of the time. Our policies have always been and will continue to be responsive to the needs of the people. The current and most prominent need is job creation and establishing the right political and financial infrastructure to help build our small and medium enterprises into global power houses.
We need to create a balanced labour policy to promote growth and productivity while simultaneously providing security, remunerative wages and a quick justice system for the labour. Thereby protecting contract labour from exploitation and ensuring strict implementation of “equal work – equal pay” provisions. Our focus has always been to protect the weaker sections of society and ensure their upliftment, a unified labour policy will not only protect our citizens but ensure a stronger and more prosperous economy. However, in order for our economy to grow, creating new jobs is the need of the hour. We need to create sector specific jobs to encourage growth in both urban and rural areas. It is imperative we take all the necessary steps for job expansion in the organised and unorganised sector by boosting domestic consumption, putting exports on a high growth trajectory, and focusing on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as our mechanisms of growth.
The current state of the political and economic structure predominantly favours large corporations, they’re monopolising the banking system, while MSMEs struggle to get minor bank loans. Since MSMEs constitute a large chunk of our economy our focus needs to aggressively change towards prioritising ease of doing business for them, and as a result create new jobs. Unlike China, our democratic system does not allow us to create large fear ridden factories, hence our focus needs to be on helping smaller businesses achieve global excellence. India’s real innovative strength lies with millions of small firms and young entrepreneurs; therefore, it is imperative we carve out a space for MSMEs to prosper in our economy. We need to bring in experts from around the globe to help us turn these small and medium companies into multinational companies.
The conversation in India, when it comes to the economy is always about growth, and while growth is important it fast becomes meaningless if it doesn’t also create jobs. In order for our economy to flourish and our people to flourish, our focus needs to dramatically change towards creating millions of new jobs, to empowering the labour, and to providing a conducive environment for MSMEs to grow.