Rajiv Kumar Urges NDA Government to Tackle Unemployment Challenges

New Delhi, 10th June 2024: Former NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar stressed the imperative for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s third-term NDA administration to address India’s unemployment challenges, particularly in the informal sector and among small and medium enterprises. He underscored the urgency in finalizing the pending four labour codes, citing their prolonged delay.

Kumar highlighted the stark reality of a K-shaped economic recovery post-Covid, where large corporations and highly skilled individuals have thrived, contrasting sharply with the plight of joblessness faced by many and the struggles of smaller enterprises to expand. Notably, he referenced an International Labour Organisation report indicating that nearly 83% of India’s unemployed population comprises youths.

In terms of solutions, Kumar advocated for alleviating the regulatory and compliance burdens burdening SMEs, stressing the need for concerted efforts involving both the central and state governments.

Furthermore, Kumar urged a significant ramp-up of apprenticeship programs to enhance youth skilling, identifying a deficiency in India’s education system in this aspect.

Regarding economic reforms and coalition politics, Kumar addressed concerns over the government’s disinvestment program, noting its relative stagnation over the past five years. He asserted the importance of prioritizing privatization to ease India’s public debt burden, particularly emphasizing the need for efficiency improvements in public sector enterprises.

Contrary to the notion that coalition governments may impede reforms, Kumar argued that they have historically been conducive to progress, citing examples of past successes. He expressed optimism that the current coalition comprising BJP, TDP, and JDU would continue prioritizing reforms over populism, reflecting the pro-reform stance of the participating parties.