Measures to Solve Unemployment Problem in India
A close reading of the Five-Year Plans reveals that in every Five-Years Plan, employment expansion has been emphasised as an objective of development. Despite all the plan pronouncements, the backlog of unemployment has increased. This is because each Plan was not even able to absorb the new entrants in the labour force.
The following measures have been suggested for solving the unemployment problem in our country:
The planning process in the initial stages gave importance to an investment-allocation pattern with a high capital-labour ratio. Therefore, a shift in the emphasis to mass consumer goods industries would generate more employment to absorb the unemployed labour force. Moreover, increase in the supply of such goods may help arrest the rising price-level and increase the economic welfare of the people. This is the wage-goods model of development suggested by Vakil and Brahmanand.
The employment objective and the output objective can be achieved, if greater investment is directed to small enterprises rather than to large enterprises. Now that the Government wants to undertake decentralised development with emphasis on small-scale enterprises, it would be desirable to reorient credit, licensing, raw material allocation and other policies in such a manner that both employment and output are enlarged simultaneously.
It would be better to switch over to intermediate technologies till the process of industrialisation gets such a powerful momentum that the new entrants to labour force can be absorbed. During the period of rapid growth in the labour force, it would be advisable to adjust the choice of techniques consistent with the employment objective. Intermediate technology would be more suited to Indian conditions.
Experience of planning has revealed that the overcrowded metropolitan centres have received a large share of investment. Therefore, the smaller towns should be developed as new growth centres for the future. The establishment of small industrial complexes can increase employment opportunities and provide flexibility to the economy.
All schemes of subsidies and incentives to large and small industries have helped output maximisation and greater use of capital resources. The pattern of subsides should be altered. Creation of more employment should be treated as the basis for the grant of subsides and incentives. This will shift the entire structure of government support from the large-scale producer to the small-scale producer as this is more consistent with the objective of employment generation and achieving equality and social justice.
One great defect of our educational system is that it leads one to take up the professional degree only. The high degree of unemployment among the educated signifies the urgent need to reorient our educational system to greater employment opportunities. Education system should be more diversified. It should have more short term vocational courses that will cater to the local employment needs. Development of quality education is a prerequisite for the development of a nation as it is the remedy for all problems including the problem of unemployment in the country. Hence, a high priority needs to be accorded for education in public expenditure.
N.S.S. data have revealed the existence of a high degree of underemployment in India. The total number of underemployed persons available and willing to take up additional work is estimated to be more than two crores. It is necessary to organise the Rural works Programme. Failure of implementation of Rural Works Programme underlines the relatively low importance given to the rural sector to provide additional employment to millions of landless labourers and small and marginal farmers. Urgent action is needed in this direction so that work opportunities grow in the rural areas. This will raise the level of income and employment in rural areas and reduction in poverty levels..