PM Modi kicks off ‘Rozgar Mela’
Says India making every effort to deal with global economic challenges
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the “Rozgar Mela” on Saturday to recruit 10 lakh people and underscored his government’s efforts to create jobs in the last eight years amid the opposition’s constant criticism of it on the issue of unemployment.
In his address after more than 75,000 people were given appointment letters for various government jobs in the first tranche, Modi acknowledged the challenges facing the economy the world over with many countries hit by a record inflation and unemployment and said India is making every effort to come out of the situation unscathed.
“It is a fact that the global scenario is not very good. Several large economies are struggling. In many countries, problems such as inflation and unemployment are at their peak,” he said.
No one thinks that the side-effects of the once-in-a-century COVID-19 pandemic will go away in 100 days, the prime minister said, adding that the crisis is grave and global, causing adverse effects all around.
“Despite this, India is taking new initiatives and some risks to shield our country from being affected by these problems. It is a challenging job, but with your blessings, we have been protected till now,” he said, adding that it was made possible as his government dealt with the shortcomings that were a hindrance to the economy.
The efficiency of the government departments has increased manifold and India has now leapt from being the 10th biggest economy to occupy the fifth spot in the world in the last eight years, Modi said.
In his speech to the new appointees, Modi cited numerous measures taken by the government, including the push to the manufacturing, infrastructure and tourism sectors, to boost employment opportunities.
Unemployment has been a major plank of the opposition in several state elections as it has accused the government of failing to create adequate employment opportunities.
The government has rejected the claim, with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) citing its victories in most of the poll contests to counter the charge.
Modi cited the record amount of loan given under the “Mudra” scheme, which funds prospective entrepreneurs, and noted that the assistance to the tune of more than Rs 3 lakh crore during the pandemic helped avert a crisis to over 1.5 crore jobs in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector.
He said the Centre is working on multiple fronts to create maximum job opportunities for youngsters and asserted that the “Rozgar Mela” is an important milestone in the efforts to create employment and self-employment in the last eight years.
The government is also working to boost agriculture, MSME and other sectors with a stress on upgrading the skills of youngsters. More than 1.25 crore people have been trained under Skill India, the prime minister said.
Modi had directed various ministries and departments in June to recruit more than 10 lakh people in the next 18 months.
Though his government has been generating employment for eight years, keeping in mind the 75th year of independence, it was decided that the Centre will give appointment letters to 75,000 youngsters on Saturday, the prime minister said.
“We decided that a tradition of giving appointment letters in one go should be started so that a collective temperament of completing projects in a time-bound manner develops in the departments,” he said, explaining the rationale behind the “Rozgar Mela”.
Initiatives such as liberalising the drone policy, opening up the space policy and loans worth Rs 20 lakh crore under the Mudra scheme have further boosted the employment opportunities, Modi said.
“Never before a self-employment programme of this magnitude was implemented in the county,” he added.
For the first time in the country, the worth of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has crossed Rs 4 lakh crore and more than four crore jobs have been created in the sector, he said.
The Start-Up India campaign has shown the potential of the youngsters, the prime minister pointed out, adding that the MGNREGA employment scheme has benefitted seven crore people in the country.
The most ambitious projects for the country in the 21st century have been “Make in India” and “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”, he said, adding that India is moving from being an importer to an exporter in many sectors.
“The government is working comprehensively in the manufacturing and tourism sectors as both have a huge employment potential,” Modi said, citing the PLI scheme to give incentives on a production basis.
Its results are already visible in many sectors, he said.
The prime minister noted that about 17 lakh people joined the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) in August and have now become a part of the country’s formal economy. He said about eight lakh of these people are in the 18-25 age group.
Modi also cited the emphasis on building roads, ports, airports and laying railway tracks to assert that the infrastructure sector has been a big source of employment generation.
“More than three crore houses have also been built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana,” he added.
The country has a target of spending more than Rs 100 lakh crore to boost infrastructure, the prime minister said.
He urged the new appointees to always keep their “kartavya path” (duties) in mind.
“You are being appointed for the service of the citizens of the country. A government job is not about facilities but a commitment and a golden opportunity to serve people,” he said.
The new recruits, selected from across the country, will join 38 ministries or departments of the Government of India. They will join the government at various levels in Group A and B (gazetted), Group B (non-gazetted) and Group C.
The posts on which the appointments are being made include those of the central armed forces personnel, sub-inspectors, constables, LDCs, stenographers, PAs, income tax inspectors and MTS, according to a statement issued by the government.
More than 50 Union ministers handed over appointment letters to thousands of youngsters at different locations across the country.
With the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls round the corner, the BJP believes that the major employment exercise will give it a boost and blunt the opposition’s attack on it.
According to the latest annual report of the Department of Expenditure on Pay and Allowances, the total number of regular central government civilian employees in position (including in the Union territories) as on March 1, 2020 was 31.91 lakh, as against the sanctioned strength of 40.78 lakh, and approximately 21.75 per cent of the posts were vacant.
The latest data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) said India’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.43 per cent in September due to an increase in labour participation in the rural and urban areas.
In August, India’s unemployment rate had surged to a one-year high of 8.3 per cent as employment sequentially fell by 2 million (20 lakh) to 394.6 million, the data said.