Morung Express News
Dimapur | March 2
Nagaland has the distinction of being the state with highest unemployment rate in the country for persons aged 15 years and above, while concurrently lacking behind in job generation.
This observation can be drawn from a reply to an unstarred question in Lok Sabha by the Minister of State (IC) for Labour and Employment, Santosh Kumar Gangwar on March 2.
Citing the results of the annual Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) conducted by National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation during 2017-18, the Minister informed that the estimated unemployment rate for persons aged 15 years and above in Nagaland was 21.4.
During the same period, the all-India average was 6%, considered one of the highest in recent times. The PLFS, based on “usual status (principal status + subsidiary status),” can be considered ‘liberal’ as a person engaging in “any economic activity for a period of 30 days or more during the preceding 365 days” is considered employed.
A previous survey by the Labour Bureau in 2015-16, provided by the Minister alongside, also revealed that Nagaland at 5.6% had higher unemployment rate than all-India average of 3.7%, signifying a constant high unemployment rate in the state.
However, the jump from 5.6% to 21.4% between the two survey periods seems to indicate a high intensity at which the unemployment rate is increasing in the state.
The Minister’s meanwhile informed on the measures taken and schemes being formulated by the Government to make available employment for the unemployed youth.
“Employment generation coupled with improving employability is the priority of the Government,” Gangwar said, adding various steps have been taken by the Government of India for generating employment in the country.
Among others, the steps include encouraging private sector of economy, fast-tracking various projects involving substantial investment and increasing public expenditure on schemes such as Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) and Deendyal Antodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM).
PMEGP: According to the Minister, the estimated employment generated under PMREGP, a scheme implemented by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) and its state nodal agencies, the total beneficiaries /entrepreneurs in Nagaland for 2019-20 till December 31, 2019 was 9136. This was a fall from 9664 in 2018-19, after increasing from 7440, the previous year.
MGNREGS: As per the data provided by Rural Development (MIS), the ‘Person days Generated’ in Nagaland under MGNREGS, enacted as a security measure guaranteeing 100 days of wage employment per year to rural households, showed a declining trend.
It declined from 2 crore ‘Person days Generated’ in 2017-18 to 1.33 crore in 2018-19. The figure for 2019-20 reflected a sharp decline to 0.95 crore till January 28, 2020.
DDU-GKY: The State’s ability to place candidates in jobs after training under DDU-GKY, a scheme implemented by the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) with the dual objectives of adding diversity to the incomes of rural poor families and cater to the career aspirations of rural youth, was less spectacular. Quoting the Ministry of Rural Development data, the Minister’s reply informed that Nagaland managed to place 353 in the last three financial years, with the period from 2017-2019 showing ‘0’ placement.
DAY-NULM: Under the DAY, a scheme aimed at uplifting the urban poor folks by enhancing sustainable livelihood opportunities through skill development, the number of “Skill Trained Persons given Placement” showed a successive ‘0’ in the last two years, after managing to place 1749 persons in 2017-18.
Across India, the data provided by the Minister reflected a declining trend across the board between 2018-19 and 2019-20. However, incorporating the data till March 31, the end of every financial year, may give a clearer picture for the current fiscal.
The MoS Labour and Employment, meanwhile, informed that the Government of India is also implementing other schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Kaushal VikasYojana (PMKVY) 2016-20, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY), National Career Service (NCS) and the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) to generate employment.