A budget tells us what we can’t afford, but it doesn’t keep us from buying it.
- William Feather
The BJP-led NDA government has been gripped by the symptoms of anti-incumbency fear psychosis even before completion of its term, aided by the incessant opposition’s propaganda in a hurry to get the BJP off the New Delhi pedestal. The BJP in order to win the last general election had made some very good promises but as one knows that promises remain as promises, so many of the promises of BJP as well as the previous Congress government have remained unfulfilled. If one goes by the reports in the media, the National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO) periodic labour force survey (PLFS) has thrown up highest unemployment rate in 2017-18. It is alleged that the acting chairman and another member of the PLFS resigned due to resentment as the government had not released the data despite approval. The demonetisation of high value currency notes in 2016 may also be a factor but at the same time the strengthening of the tax collection may have caused a section of the society to hide its employment status. According to NSSO date the unemployment of youth in 2017-18 was higher than the previous year. The rural youth in the age group of 15-29 went from 2011-12 to 17.4% in 2017-18. There has been also an increase in unemployment of the rural women in the same age group from 4.8% to 13.65. The same goes for other groups.
The BJP’s promise of creating jobs falls flat in the face of this data but at the same time it does not mean that the NDA regime has not done anything. But it is definitely a time to concentrate on the creation of job for the youths. An unemployed population can lead to rising crime, parasitic society and overall chaos. As India heads toward getting its place among the world leaders it have to get its house in order and that includes many things. The living standard of the people will only increase if they are employed with a decent salary. It cannot be denied that one cannot do so in a leap on the back of a single government. The present BJP-led NDA has given the expectation to the people that it can do miracles as the BJP leaders had promised to do what the Congress could not do in its 60 years in power. The present regime may say many things in its defence which will be like stocking an ant’s nest with a stick. The more BJP will try to cover it up the more it will become indefensible.
Whatever party may come to power in 2019 it will have to work on creation of jobs as a major part of the economy that will propel India among the developed nations. At the same time the opposition will also have to get its act together to return to power. The Opposition parties are trying to get along just for the sake of coming to power. The opposition parties have to come up with proper policies and programmes to get the anti-BJP wave translated into votes in their favour.