Jobs growth tops priority list for Dharmendra Pradhan, Santosh Gangwar


New Delhi: After taking charge of their new portfolios on Monday, labour minister Santosh Gangwar and skills development minister Dharmendra Pradhan said job creation would be their top priority and pledged to create a conducive environment to accelerate employment generation.

Gangwar said he will push for pending labour reforms and legislative changes to generate jobs. The Union labour ministry has initiated moves to consolidate 44 labour laws into four codes to ease the labour law compliance for industries. Archaic labour laws are considered a roadblock to industrial growth, the ‘Make in India’ mission and job creation.

The Union cabinet has cleared the wage code that consolidates four wage-related laws; codes on industrial relations, industrial safety and social security are still being prepared.

“Youth in India want jobs…for that we have to create a conducive atmosphere. States need to have a good atmosphere to attract investments. Now you will see work picking up speed and reform will happen in a time-bound manner,” Gangwar said.

Missing jobs remain a bane of the economy three years after the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Front (NDA) took power. A million people are entering the workforce every month, but the number of jobs created has lagged far behind; between 2011-12 and 2015-16, India created 3.65 million jobs a year, according to the lobby group Confederation of Indian Industry. Accelerating employment creation is crucial for the government as it heads into the next general election in 2019.

“Prime Minister has given me this responsibility to steer India’s Skill Mission and we will ensure that we deliver on his expectations. He has a vision that we create a new environment of creating dignified job opportunities for millions of youth,” Pradhan told reporters.

Terming the lack of order in the skills ecosystem a legacy issue that the present government inherited from the previous government, he said he will give it a “major push” to achieve scale.

“Our primary objective will be to create a grid across sectors, states and the aspiration of the youth and ensure all the requirements are well addressed,” he said.

Pradhan said that in the last three years, the NDA had laid the foundation for skill development and “we will now work towards bringing scale and speed to this programme by bringing in convergence and coordination” with states, departments, private institutions and existing skill development programmes.

New commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu, who also took charge on Monday, tweeted that he will look to provide impetus to employment generation, foreign direct investment, Make in India, Startup India, and ease of doing business.

“If the government can take bold decisions on jobs and skills, it will get good impact. This will be good for industries, government and the common people looking for jobs. While job security is important, enabling environment for job creation is equally important,” said Rituparna Chakraborty, senior vice-president of staffing firm Teamlease Services.


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