Labour Minister Harish Rawat says the government is confident of creating 58 million additional jobs by the end of the 11th Five Year Plan in 2012 thanks to the smart recovery in the farm sector and its resultant impact on the rural economy.
‘Agriculture has responded very positively. With economy poised to grow at nine percent in this fiscal year, we will be able to meet the target,’ Rawat told IANS in an interview, adding his assessment was that the country now was mid-way in realising the target.
Even though agriculture was not among the sectors identified by the central government for incremental employment during the 11th Plan, Rawat said buoyancy in the sector will be beneficial as it employs two-thirds of the labour force, directly or indirectly.
India’s farm sector grew 2.5 percent in the first quarter and 4.4 percent in the second quarter of this fiscal, as opposed to a mere 1.9 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively, during two corresponding quarters last fiscal.
The gross domestic product (GDP) climbed 8.9 percent each in the first two quarters.
Rawat said the 10th Five Year Plan target of creating 50 million additional jobs fell short by three million due to a shortfall in fresh employment in sectors like manufacturing, transport, tourism and agriculture.
As per the report on the employment and unemployment survey released by the labour ministry in October, the unemployment rate in India was 9.4 percent last fiscal. In the rural areas the unemployment rate was 10.1 percent and in the urban areas 7.3 percent.
The labour minister said his ministry had also put together a working draft of a new employment policy, which aims at creating skilled manpower according to industry needs, which has also been the main demand of the private sector.