In a bid to provide a “major” thrust to job creation by enhancing India’s exports, the NITI Aayog has set up a task force to be headed by its Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar. The task force, which includes government and private sector representatives, will submit its report by November.
The steps outlined by the task force to address this challenge of creating well-paid, formal sector jobs, include:
- Proposing a comprehensive plan of action to generate employment and alleviate under-employment in both goods and services sectors and low wages by boosting India’s exports in key labor-intensive industries
- Recommending sector-specific policy interventions in key employment sectors
- Recommending measures to enhance trade in services with high employment potential
- Identifying key macro economic factors constraining exports and suggesting methods to address these constraints
- Assessing the effectiveness of existing schemes to promote exports
- Addressing issues related to logistics, export credits and trade facilitation
- Suggesting ways to enhance the availability of data on trade such that it is reliable, globally comparable and timely, particularly with respect to trade in services.
Incidentally, the “Three Years Action Agenda” unveiled by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently had also stressed on creation of well-paid jobs by exploiting the potential in exports. The action agenda had also laid emphasis on creation of well-paid jobs by expanding the formal sector.
While the Indian workforce has high aspirations, a majority of the workers are still employed in low-productivity, low-wage jobs in small, micro and own-account enterprises. An urgent and sustained expansion of the organized sector is essential to address India’s unemployment and under-employment issue. An important strategy is also to enable a shift towards more labour-intensive goods and services that are destined for exports. Given the importance of exports in generating jobs, India needs to create an environment in which globally competitive exporters can emerge and flourish.