12th Plan to create 50 m non-farm jobs

12th Plan to create 50 m non-farm jobs

Riding high on expectations of a strong manufacturing growth, the 12th Five Year Plan has set a target of a whopping 50 million new jobs in the non-farm sector alone in the coming five years, even as India lagged far behind in achieving the previous plan target of employment generation.

The Plan document for 2012-17, which was cleared by the full Planning Commission for the first time, talks of separating agriculture and non-agriculture sectors for job creation. Non-agriculture sector includes manufacturing and services among others.

Earlier five-year plans gave the target of overall employment generation which including all sectors. The 11th five year plan had set a target of 58 million new jobs in the five-year period from 2007-2012, but it also included the farm sector.

The estimates were given by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia in the full plan panel, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week, when the draft 12th five-year plan was approved. The plan awaits NDC approval before it enters implementation mode.

Talking to Deccan Herald after the full plan panel meet, Planning Commission member Abhijit Sen, however, said that employment in farm sector is estimated to be lesser than in the non-farm sector.

To a question on why the 11th plan target for employment generation was not met, he said the major impediments in achieving employment target in the 11th plan were less than expected growth in labour force in the rural areas and decline in the female workforce.

The growth rate of job creation in farm sector has been subdued since 2004 mainly due to migration of labour force from rural to urban areas. The rise in food prices since 2004-05 have led to increase in consumer price inflation, but, the growth in agriculture sector has not keep pace.

Sen said, employment in farm sector will continue to be lacklustre even in the coming five-year period. On the other hand, the New Manufacturing Policy, which aims to create 100 million jobs by 2020, has boosted the government’s confidence of meeting the target of creating 50 million new jobs in the 12th Plan period. The government has recently made some policy changes and asked the states to create land banks for setting up national manufacturing zones, which can provide employment to a large workforce and help spur growth in the sector.

The 12th five-year plan document also laid emphasis on a faster growth in manufacturing sector for creation of more employment opportunities. It has also outlined a multi-pronged strategy for faster growth in manufacturing, especially for MSME enterprises, which provide some of the largest employment opportunities.