'How many of 2cr promised jobs were provided?' asks Kharge
Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, on Wednesday, flagged the issue of unemployment in India during the Budget Session of Parliament. He accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) central government of failing to fulfill its promise to provide jobs. The ongoing session commenced on Monday and the Union Budget was tabled on Tuesday.
- Kharge's statement comes as the unemployment rate in the country has touched a high of several decades.
- As of December 2021, India had as many as 53 million (5.3 crore) unemployed people, of which 35 million were actively seeking work.
- Meanwhile, several Opposition leaders have criticized the Union Budget 2022 for failing to address the issues of the salaried and the middle class.
"Widespread unemployment is prevalent in the country. Youths are in distress because big factories are shutting down, investment is not coming, and the number of government jobs is shrinking," Kharge, a senior Congress leader, said. "In 2014, you promised two crore jobs every year. You should have provided 15 crore jobs by now. But how many jobs did you actually provide?" he asked.
"This year's Budget promises just 60 lakh jobs in the next five years," Kharge added. His comments came a day after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman promised the creation of six million jobs over a period of five years.
India's unemployment rate rose to nearly 8% in December 2021—the highest in decades and the worst among most emerging economies—according to think-tank Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). Experts say COVID-19 and poor government policy are to be blamed for the crisis. In Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, joblessness among the youth triggered violent protests in recent weeks.
The Budget Session is being held amid the third wave of COVID-19. Both the Houses of Parliament are working in a staggered manner, with the Rajya Sabha operating from 10 am to 3 pm and the Lok Sabha between 4 pm and 9 pm. The Session will be conducted in two parts—from January 31 to February 11 and from March 14 to April 8.