a simple way to create jobs in india

what do you expect would trigger organic job creation? increased economic activity? and for this increased economic activity do you want new enterprises to come up or the existing ones to expand? if this is the case, you may be at fault while pursuing the goal of job creation.

our country, india, is a typical example of how population rise outpaces creation of new economic activities. you may come up with best measures – liberalisation or incentives to new enterprises – but the impact of these measures wouldn’t be enough to result into creation of as much employment opportunities as the country seeks.

a simple and untapped way out to this problem is expanding the existing economic activities in such a manner that already existing enterprises see an increase in their appetite to absorb more unemployed youth.

take an example. a public sector bank in india works from 10 am to 5 pm and remains shut on alternate saturdays and all sundays. while banking services are mainly accessed by the working class, this section feels handicapped when they see the establishment closed at a time when they are off from their work responsibilities.

this gives an alternate opportunity to create more jobs in the already established economic activity and without even any expansion in product list. the same public sector bank can function from 7 in the morning till 7 in the evening and could operate on all 365 days of the year.

another target achieved by this exercise will be eradication of income disparity and inequality in living standards of the populace. by cutting short the working hours from 8 hours/ day to 6 hours/ day, 2 people instead of 1 will employed in the same job for the day. indeed, the compensation for the job has to be rationalized and in the process equitable distribution of wealth will automatically be achieved.

the same exercise would cover all establishments in the country, public or private. the only tough stance that the government needs to take is to rework maximum working hours for employees/ workers so that more people get the opportunity that is presently rewarding only a few.

india is also a typical example of a country where an employed person becomes rich on the expense of the other.

early retirements (of course with social security), extension of working hours of enterprises and a 24x7x365 working environment are the measures that would create enough jobs without having to rely on new economic activities and setting up of new enterprises.

the lost gst opportunity – ‘job creation’

goods and services tax is being hailed as the most far-reaching tax reform ever in independent india. gst will curb ambiguity in indirect taxation, will ease compliance and can augment tax collection of the government, all agreed. but has gst delivered on the front that is all more critical than these, did the government factor in  job creation while planning for gst roll out?

in bits they did. they foresaw automatic creation of jobs once the tax reform comes into play, for businesses will need tax consultants to understand the new complexities and to steer clear of penalties for wrong/ delayed filings. but what the government did was to leave it to the market forces for creation of new jobs, and this is where they made a blunder.

in a recent letter to chartered accountants across india, pm modi has requested for their cooperation in honest and effective implementation of gst. this is where the problem lies.

the already well-off community of chartered accountants, where the number of professionals is deliberately kept low to enable the existing ones make windfall profits owing to the ever-high need of taxation consultants in the country, has emerged as the only winner. by inviting their support, the prime minister has only undermined the interests of non-ca fraternity, comprising of simple commerce graduates.

the need was to create a pool of gst professionals by picking up fresh graduates from rural/ undeveloped parts of the country and training them for a year or even 6 months on what gst exactly is and how businesses, small and large, have to comply with new tax reform. in one go, the government would have created lakhs of jobs for fresh graduates and in the process would have decreased the unwanted dependency of businesses on chartered accountants.

the pm, finance minister and the think tanks failed to notice the pressing need of creating new jobs for lakhs of youths joining the unemployed bunch every year. skill development by various ministries is only adding to skills, but where are the jobs? factory growth is dismal, it sector has lost its sheen and there isn’t much hope in agriculture.

so where does the government feel this newly skilled youth will be absorbed?

gst reform could have delivered on multiple counts, job creation, equity in income distribution, augmented spending by households, lessening the workforce presently employed in agriculture, cutting well-known malpractices undertaken by chartered accountants to enable businesses evade taxes by replacing them with a fresh pool of tax professionals, and much more.

gst, sadly, remains an untapped opportunity but can be a lesson for future reforms. there can be no question raised on the intent of the government to usher in true reforms, however, holistic planning is required to fetch maximum benefits out of a single move.

enough is enough, stop the bloodbath

it’s clear in the supreme law of the land, the constitution; we are here to protect minorities, depressed and the vulnerable, all freedoms, rights are a common lot, privilege does not exist for any individual, group and can never find its way in the social fabric through political propaganda. why then religious minority in the country is being mobbed, lynched with such impunity?

inside their homes, on trains and in streets, amidst full public view, muslims are being taunted, assaulted, tortured, murdered, and there seems no honest endeavor by the protectors, our legislators and law enforcement agencies, to place a lid on these catastrophic events.

there is no uncertainty that india is better placed on many parameters, the poor is being allocated cooking gas connections and legislations are being passed for overhaul of the economy. but can all this overshadow recurrent bitter incidents of minority religion being targeted by vigilantes and ultra-nationalists?

it is quite clear that the ruling political party will sweep the polls due in 2019 with a clear majority for 5 years. but it that it? is the modi-led, modi-dependent bjp eying only electoral wins? the question is how much sustainable these wins, these reforms are?

the present state of affairs in the country, world’s largest democracy and explicitly-declared secular state, indicates toward a tomorrow that will see all economic reforms by the modi government crushed under the harsh feet of religious intolerance and insecurity among minority faiths. this isn’t a micro/ trivial aspect, for only religious harmony, not ultra-nationalism as was in pakistan, fueled the post-independence success of india.

every lynching incident is taking the country closer to a greater, all-encompassing, wide-ranging, cutting across landscapes disaster, a return from where toward peace and prosperity will be near-impossible, at least in the short-term.

the government and law enforcement agencies need to act, for if they don’t, india may be heading toward anything, virtually anything, a civil war, a military coup, secessions or bifurcations. nationalism, as was advocated during the initial modi-government days may be acceptable, the contours now have been so widened that a non-hindu has become nothing but a traitor, a conspirator.

the trend is worrying, ruinous. for pm modi to ensure that his stint as the supreme leader of the country is cheered not regretted, mourned, this wave of ultra-nationalism and branding of non-hindus as traitors has to end, today.

every assault by a vigilante on a non-hindu adds a cup of blood more to the enclosure safeguarding india within, let not the level reach the nose, death will be inevitable.