Worker with cartons of fabric at a textile market in Surat. (PC-NYT) File Photo.
The proposed National Employment Policy may set sector-specific targets to boost job opportunities in areas like textiles, officials said.
“It may also take into account the jobs expected to be created by production-linked incentive schemes in many sectors,” an official said. The PLI scheme offers companies incentives on incremental sales from products made locally to help boost domestic manufacturing and cut down import bills.
The sector-wise strategy is aimed at policy interventions and improving the potential of job creation by drawing investments to employment-intensive sectors and attracting new industries by creating an enabling environment.
The strategy will be based on data from five all-India labour surveys and the recently launched e-Shram portal to facilitate evidence-based policymaking for employment generation. After following due processes and stakeholder consultations, the proposal will be sent to the cabinet for approval.
The National Employment Policy is aimed at formalising the country’s workers, including migrants, so that they get the benefits of job and social security. The task has become more challenging in the wake of the pandemic.
In September, the government had released the results of the first All-India Quarterly Establishment-based Employment Survey (AQEES) for the April-June quarter. According to the survey, of the total employment estimated in nine selected sectors, manufacturing accounted for almost 41 percent, followed by education with 22 percent, and health 8 percent. Trade as well as IT/BPO each engaged 7 percent of the total estimated number of workers.
The AQEES is one of the five nationwide annual surveys conducted by the labour bureau, which functions under the ministry of labour and employment. The others are All-India Survey of Migrant Workers, All-India Survey of Domestic Workers, All-India Survey of Employment Generated by Professionals and All-India Survey of Employment Generated in the Transport Sector.
Labour minister Bhupendra Yadav flagged off the All-India Survey of Domestic Workers on November 22.
The labour ministry had launched the National Database for Unorganised Workers or the e-Shram portal on August 26, seeking to enrol an estimated 380 million people in the informal and unorganised sectors, including construction workers, gig and platform workers, street vendors, domestic, agricultural and migrant workers, and other sub-groups of unorganised workers.
The database will facilitate implementation of policies for the unorganised sector and help in better monitoring and supervision of government policies to ensure that benefits reach the targeted groups at the grassroots level.
An estimated 98.4 million unorganised workers had registered on e-Shram as of November 30.
The renewed attention to the National Employment Policy comes in the backdrop of rising unemployment in the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic as it slowed economic activity.The unemployment rate touched a record 23.52 percent when India was under a nationwide lockdown in April 2020, according to private think tank Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). During April-June quarter in 2020, some 121 million jobs were lost, the most since CMIE started compiling employment data.