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India having trouble creating enough new jobs for its massive workforce

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Mumabai:In India, the world’s fastest-expanding economy, the link between growth and job creation is weakening.
New research from the privately-run Azim Premji University shows that a growth rate of 7 per cent is now leading to less than 1 per cent improvement in employment, while in the 1970s and ’80s an expansion of 3 per cent to 4 per cent was resulting in a much higher 2 per cent gain in jobs. The outcome is an unemployment rate that’s hit 5 per cent in 2015, the highest in at least 20 years.
The main reason for the worsening correlation between growth and jobs was a mismatch between skills and “good jobs,” according to researchers led by Amit Basole. The share of the so-called goods jobs that broadly includes formal employment with regular pay accounted for only 17 per cent of the country’s 467 million workforce.
“Simply put, higher growth has raised aspirations but has failed to generate the kind of jobs that will allow people to fulfill those aspirations,” the researchers wrote in the report, called State of Working India 2018. “This obviously points to the issue being not only one of job creation but of the creation of decent and desirable jobs.”
Growth has averaged 7 per cent since reforms began in 1991 under Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao to open up the economy. The most recent figures show gross domestic product expanded 8.2 per cent in the three months through June from a year earlier, making India the world’s fastest-growing major economy.
India is on track to hold that position, with the International Monetary Fund retaining its growth forecast of 7.3 per cent for the fiscal year through March 2019.
Still, unemployment remains high, especially among young and educated Indians. More than one-third of about 23 million people who were actively searching for jobs have graduate or higher levels of education, the study found.
Failure to create opportunities for the young workforce will not only hurt Prime Minister Modi’s re-election bid next year but impede the economy’s current pace of expansion.
“India’s employment situation and the state of its labour statistics are both subjects of national news. The performance of the present government on job creation is also expected to be a key issue in the upcoming general elections in 2019,” the researchers said.


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Cabinet clears setting up of centralised GST appellate authority

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New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved setting up of a centralised Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling (AAAR) under the goods and services tax that would decide on cases where there are divergent orders at the state level.

The setting up of a centralised AAAR would require amendments to the GST Acts. The centralised authority as an appellate body will only take up cases wherein the Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR) of two states have passed divergent orders.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and comprising state counterparts, in December decided to establish the centralised AAAR.

 

“The Cabinet has cleared the GST appellate authority,” a source said after the meeting of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In view of the confusion created by contradictory rulings given by different AARs on the same or similar issues, the industry had been demanding a centralised appellate authority that could reconcile the contradictory verdicts of different AARs.

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Urbanisation to be big driver of Indian economic growth: Kant

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Davos: Urbanisation will be a big driver of economic growth in India going forward, supported by favourable macroeconomic factors, accelerated infrastructure building and continuing reforms, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said.

Speaking here at an event on sidelines of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, he also said the Indian economy may even exceed the IMF growth forecast of 7.5 per cent for the country.

Kant said IMF has forecast 7.5 per cent growth for India despite a gloomy outlook for the global economy and this itself is good, though there are expectations that this estimate would be surpassed. He said India is giving a big push to urbanisation with more than 100 smart cities being developed.

 

The country is also using technology in a big way to change the way business and governance is done, he added. Besides a massive infrastructure building is happening, bank credit flow has rebounded and macroeconomic factors like inflation and fiscal deficit are also being supportive, Kant said.

DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek noted that states are competing with each other to attract investments and all political parties have adopted the economic reform process. He listed various reform initiatives undertaken in India, including on areas like ease of doing business, FDI, manufacturing and taxation.

They were speaking at Institutional investors’ breakfast roundtable, organised by the industry chamber CII and Kotak Mahindra Bank. Other participants included CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee and leaders from Indian and foreign companies.

On questions about some persisting issues in doing business including on tax and insolvency related issues, Abhishek said a lot of efforts have been put in to remove all bottlenecks and starting a business doesn’t take more than a day. Besides, special provisions have been made for startups and angel investors, he added.

Kant said efforts are also being made to remove all physical intervention and digitise the entire process of inter-ministerial and inter-department consultations to fast-track the decisions.

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India will surpass China, says Raghuram Rajan

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Davos: India will eventually surpass China in economic size and will be in a better position to create the infrastructure being promised by the Chinese side in South Asian countries, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said.

Addressing a session on Strategic Outlook for South Asia, Dr Rajan said that the Indian economy would continue to grow while growth rate is slowing down in China.

“Historically, India had a bigger role in the region but China has now grown much bigger than India and has presented itself as a counter-balance to India in the region,” Dr Rajan said at the WEF Annual Meeting 2019.

 

“India will become bigger than China eventually as China would slow down and India would continue to grow. So India will be in a better position to create the infrastructure in the region which China is promising today. But this competition is good for the region and it will benefit for sure,” he said.

The comments assume significance with China working on a lot of infrastructure projects across the region. In 2017, India became the sixth largest economy with a GDP of $2.59 trillion while China was the second large with a GDP of $12.23 trillion.

At the same session, Nepal PM K.P. Sharma Oli cited collaboration with China as well as India as reasons for the economic growth.

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