Extending Workable Schemes for the Larger Benefits Should be Introduced!

  • The economic scenario in every country around the globe is anything but challenging and needs no further elaboration. None of the governments can lay claim to being immune from duress courtesy of the pandemic-induced restrictions played for over two years.  To add to the woes, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict severely disrupted the global supply chains further adding fuel to the inflationary trends and making the prices of common commodities shoot up exponentially.  Needless to mention, millions of common citizens-especially daily wage workers and migrant labourers-are enduring tough times struggling to wriggle out of the suffocating situations even now.  Unemployment is another challenge that shows no signs of encouragement for job seekers.


  • Now, what does the government think tank contemplate for sprucing up the economic activities that would also pave way for substantial employment generation? Unfortunately, despite several measures initiated by the union and state governments, not much appears to have changed for the lower level of the workforce still looking out for opportunities to sustain livelihood.  However, a few pragmatic measures announced sporadically do help the situation to a great extent.  Rajasthan recently launched its Urban Employment Scheme to provide 100 days of employment, along the lines of the national rural jobs scheme.
  • That an urban jobs programme is needed, especially after the pandemic’s massive impact on informal sectors, has been argued by many, including the PM’s Economic Advisory Council. Further, another level of urgency comes from NCRB data that 26% or 42,004 of 1.6 lakh suicide cases in 2021 were by daily wagers.  Inflation, particularly in food and fuel, added to the problems created by a terrible couple of years for low-skilled workers.  Data on the matter shows that urban employment went from 7.32% in June to 9.57% in August-substantially higher than rural unemployment for August at 7.68%.


  • This being the case, the time is right now to seriously consider a national urban employment guarantee scheme. Plus, such a scheme, if designed well and if it subsumes a few other social welfare programmes, won’t really strain government budgets.  For example, Rajasthan’s scheme providing unskilled labour Rs 259 per day and skilled workers Rs 283 per day will cost around Rs 800 crore annually compared to the 2021-22 state budget of Rs 2.5 lakh crore.  Further, looking at the national level, estimates by researchers at Azim Premji University for providing 100 days of work for 20 million workers at Rs 300 per day project a cost of just Rs 1 lakh crore to the Union Government.
  • Undoubtedly, an urban jobs guarantee scheme can be a critical, even if temporary, intervention in the jobs crisis at the lower end of the labour market.  Remember, urban infrastructure upgrades, as well as greenfield projects, are a big spending category means there won’t be any shortage of productive work for the job guarantee scheme.  In conclusion, the Union Government should soon come up with its version to help the distressing urban employment scenario.

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Krishna MV
Krishna is a Post Graduate with specialization in English Literature and Human Resource Management, respectively. Having served the Indian Air Force with distinction for 16 years, Armed Forces background definitely played a very major role in shaping as to who & what he is right now. Presently, he is employed as The Administrator of a well known educational institute in Bangalore. He is passionate about sharing thoughts by writing articles on the current affairs / topics with insightful dissection and offering counter / alternate views thrown in for good measure. Also, passionate about Cricket, Music – especially vintage Kannada & Hindi film songs, reading – non-fictional & Self-Help Books, and of course, fitness without compromising on the culinary pleasures.