Amid increasing debates over rising unemployment, Principal Economic Adviser Sanjeev Sanyal on Monday said there was a significant amount of new job creation happening, and the government was also creating jobs through capital expenditure on infrastructure and support jobs via the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
Replying to a query on lack of job creation in the public sector, Mr. Sanyal said, “… there are areas where the public sector is generating jobs, it may not be government jobs but when you are talking about capital expenditure on infrastructure, that is also a job created by government spending, the contractors’ workers may not be government employees, so there is that kind of job being created, and then you know support jobs like the MGNREGA are also forms of government jobs.”
He added that for ‘regular government job’ there had always been a lot of demand in India. “… this is not a new phenomenon … such incidents have happened in the past as well, well before COVID-type situation.”
The comments come amid ongoing controversy over recruitment in the Railways in which over 1 crore applications were received for about 30,000 jobs.
‘Not a new phenomenon’
“…There has been an attraction in India for regular government jobs and we have always heard, even in my childhood, that so many lakh people apply for so few numbers of jobs, so this is not a new phenomenon at all. But yes… there are also a large number of vacancies in government and they get filled every year,” he said.
To a question, he said that despite the spike worldwide, inflation in India was still within the tolerance threshold.
“….the international situation is clearly in an environment where there are all kinds of pressures, particularly from oil prices… supply side shocks, chip shortages, cargo tariffs, etc. So these do have an impact … we are part of the world and imported inflation is an issue and we do need to take that into account,” he said.
Mr. Sanyal, however, added that the rest of the world was also in some ways responding to it. “It’s not like they are not doing it as well … A lot of effort being put worldwide in trying to ease up all these supply side problems … don’t think of these things in linear fashion. Yes, there is a problem with imported inflation, but don’t begin to sort of extrapolate this into the future.”