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‘Poor State performance on key job indicators’
Abundance of mineral reserves and rich biodiversity is not a guarantee of greater employment and good labour market as proven by Jharkhand’s pathetic performance on indicators related to employment.
According a report—’Indian Labour & Employment Report 2014’—prepared by Institute for Human Development (IHD), Jharkhand stands at number 16 in the country on the ladder of Employment Situation Index.
The report released here by IHD at a city hotel has been compiled by a team of labour and development economists from across the country and it takes into account performance on indicators such as percentage employed in regular formal work, work participation rate, percentage employed as casual labour, percentage of self-employed below poverty line, average wage of casual
labourers, unemployment rate of secondary educated and above besides percentage of unionized informal workers in a State.“The report has been prepared in three years with whatever materials available and with participatory consultations,” said Director IHD, Alakh N Sharma who is also Principal Author & Editor of the report.
Hurdles like poor education infrastructure, alleged exploitation of mineral reserves, poor public health system, displacing people involved in menial jobs are some of the factors claimed to have halted the State’s march on the road of development. Also, discrimination between big corporate houses and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) is seen by few economists as the reason for the State’s poor performance of ESI index. The brainstorming session that ensued the report launch also indirectly attacked the ongoing anti-encroachment drive being conducted in the city and the resultant impact on the earning potential of those displaced in the name of the drive to clean the city.
“Footpath dwellers are being thrown out in the name of beautification of the city. You are making them loose the opportunity (to earn),” pointed out Ramesh Sharan, head of department of Economics, Ranchi University.
On the occasion, noted economist and social activist Jean Dreze outlined the steps that have been taken to improve conditions of labour market and employment situation in the country, including Jharkhand. Social sector schemes like MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) and similar social sector schemes borne out of social movements were termed as the remedy to the problems of a poor labour market and employment situation. The role of education in development was also highlighted.
“If we are talking of future priorities of a growing economy then we have to endeavour to expand social spending as we are champions of under spending on social sector schemes,” maintained Dreze.The report highlights contribution made by a sector in the gross domestic product of the country and at the same time advocates policy (Macro and Micro) changes to fast pace transition of labour from agriculture to non-agriculture works to name a few in the endeavour to improve situation in a globalised world.
The programme, chaired by VC of Ranchi University LN Bhagat, was also attended by Director IHD-ERC Ranchi, Harishwar Dayal and VC of BIT-Mesra, Manoj Kumar Mishra.
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