‘Jobless growth’ slipping into ‘job-loss growth’: Manmohan Singh

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh Sunday censured the government for failing to uplift the economy to its maximum potential and said the ‘jobless growth’ has slipped into ‘job-loss growth’, which coupled with rural indebtedness and urban chaos has made the growing number of aspirational youth restless.

“The jobless growth slipping into job-loss growth, together with rural indebtedness and urban chaos have made the growing aspirational youths restless,” Singh said.

Singh’s statement was part of his address at the convocation ceremony at the Delhi School of Management, in which he also asserted that the domestic challenges faced by the Indian economy were disconcertingly complex and devastating in its impact on the society.

He said the ‘grave agrarian crisis, the declining employment opportunities, the pervasive environmental degradation, and above all the divisive forces at work” were among the challenges confronting the nation.

“Suicides of farmers and frequent farmer agitations reflect the structural imbalances in our economy which call for serious in-depth analysis and political will to address them,” Singh said.

Slamming the ruling government at the Centre, Singh said the small and unorganised sectors which were vibrant and contributing to the generation of wealth and employment opportunities had suffered in the aftermath of the ‘disastrous’ demonetisation. He attributed the suffering of the sectors to the ‘slipshod’ introduction and implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

“Well thought-out policy and implementation strategies are required to stimulate industrial and commercial sectors. Knee-jerk reactions and off-the-cuff announcements of grandiose schemes and unproductive projects have manifestly failed to uplift the economy to its potential,” he added.

The gap between the skills that the industry needs and the skill-sets the graduating students possess, Singh cited as one of the areas of major concern in the endeavours to promote employment-oriented industry.

“We are living in a fast-changing world. On the one hand we are getting more and more integrated with the world economy and exposed to the global markets, and on the other hand we face massive economic and social challenges at home,” said the former prime minister.

He further argued that changing equations among global powers and fluctuations in the markets for petroleum products and other industrial commodities and the financial markets affect Indian economy more than ever before.

“Needless to stress, it is a testing time for our democratic spirit, our patience and tolerance, our capacity of managing contradictions, our resolve of ensuring inclusive growth – a strong, equitable and sustainable growth,” he said.

Singh told the batch of budding management professionals that they are joining the business world at an important time when India is projected to be one of the top three economies of the world by 2030 which opens up many opportunities and challenges for them in this fast-moving world of unprecedented changes

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