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Mainstream, VOL 60 No 44 October 22, 2022

Summary of Report of People’s Commission on Employment and Unemployment Set up by Desh Bachao Abhiyan

Friday 21 October 2022, by Arun Kumar

Right to Work: Feasible and Indispensable for India to be a truly Civilized and Democratic Nation

Released in New Delhi

October 11, 2022

Thanks to the organizers for the opportunity to prepare and present this Report.

Thanks to the members of the Commission for their support. Also to others who contributed to it. Their contributions are in the Annexure

Reminded of the Alternative Budget, 1994 in GPF where we presented an alternative.

The issue will be how to take it to the people?

When society faces a problem and is unable to resolve it, it implies that there is something basically wrong. One needs to look for its basic causes and only then a resolution is possible. The causes have to be found in the system that has evolved over time and which conditions the social and political attitudes in society. The onus of finding the solution lies on the rulers. Their failure to resolve the problem over time implies their lack of motivation to resolve the problem.

All this applies to the issue of employment generation and unemployment in India which has been growing over time and affects the vast majority of the citizens.

The Basic Issue

Gandhi said that India is the only country capable of giving a civilizational alternative. Time has come to take this seriously since unemployment has become a critical issue which needs to be urgently tackled. The issue is multi-dimensional since it is a result of multiple causes and has widespread implications. It impacts growth of the economy, inequality, poverty, etc.. It has gender dimension and impacts the marginalized sections adversely reflecting a lack of social justice. It is entrenched among the youth. The more educated they are greater the unemployment they face. Consequently, it has political and social implications, like, on social relations.

The rapidly growing incomes of the top 1% in the income ladder indicates that the economy has the resources but they are mal-distributed. The rich at the top have created a system that enables them to capture most of the gains from development with little trickling down to the rest.

This Report presents a framework which spells out the causes, consequences and possible remedies. Further, it looks at the historical process underlying the evolution of policies so as to understand them as to how to change them.
If any form of distortion persists over a long period, as unemployment in India, its origins lie in society’s perceptions and priorities. In India, these can be traced to the adoption of state capitalism and persisting feudal tendencies of the elite policy makers who in their own self- interest adopted a trickle down model of development.

Further, at present, Capitalism has globally taken the form of marketization which promotes `profit maximization’. But is it then legitimate to keep workers unemployed? It implies loss of output and therefore reduces the size of the economy which leads to lower level of profits. So, by the logic of individual rationality, the system should create productive employment for all.

The market’s notion of `efficiency’ is status quoist since it seeks to perpetuate the historical injustice in society. `Consumer sovereignty’ implies that individuals should be left free to do whatever they wish to. The collectivity should not intervene in their choices no matter how socially detrimental they maybe. It promotes the notion that if I have the money I can do what I like. The ratio of incomes is 10,000 times and more between the poor workers and the big businessmen. The market sees nothing wrong in such disparity; society has come to celebrate it.

Marketization is determining society’s choices through its principles governing all aspects of society. One of these principles is the `dollar vote’. The policy makers accept it and prioritize the choices of the well-off over those of the marginalized. The well-off dictate the social judgments of policy makers. Consequently, not only equality is not on the agenda even equity is not.

With marketization stripping off the social aspect from life, individuals become automatons. Their individual distress and situation in life is noone’s or society’s concern. Unemployment becomes just a switching off of a machine. No social concern need be attached to it. In fact, capitalists welcome unemployment as an `efficient’ device to discipline labour and neo-classical economics considers it as essential. Inflation further weakens large numbers of workers as they lose purchasing power.

In essence, whether or not society should aim to give productive employment to all reflects its view of individuals. Society needs to choose what is more important - profits or welfare of the marginalized majority. The Gandhian view, largely rejected by the Indian elite, was `last person first’ which defined what the priority should be.

The Historical Context

With Independence, the elite rulers wanted to quickly copy `western modernity’ rather than work out its own `Indian modernity’. So, the focus became the development of the modern sector. The urban centric elite policy makers saw this as development. But, this sector generates far less employment than India required to take people out of agriculture and rural areas and out of poverty. Terms of trade at the farm level shifted against the farmers so that surplus could be plowed into industry and urban areas. Millions of tribals, landless and marginal farmers came destitute to the cities and provided cheap labour both for industry and the well-off sections. The acuteness of the problem faced by the marginalized was exposed during the pandemic and the sudden lockdown in 2020.

The elite have argued that their policies since 1991 have been successful. But, poverty has changed its form since poverty is `space and time specific’ and is a moving target. The connection between poverty and lack of proper work has been known for long and that is why `Right to Work’ has been an issue in India for long.

The top-down policies, pursued after Independence, were moderated by the government intervening to help the poor. This feature of policies was jettisoned in 1991 with the launch of the NEP. Policy paradigm changed and the collective was no more responsible for the individual’s problems. Policy was based on `growth at any cost’ with the cost falling on the workers and the environment. Consequently, at a low per capita income, India has some of the most polluted cities and rivers in the world, further impacting the marginalized.

The modern or the advanced sectors being capital intensive cannot offer enough work to the migrants being displaced from rural areas. This has resulted in the creation of a reserve army of labour, which has weakened labour and forced it to accept a wage much below a `living wage’. The resulting distress has led to social and political strife which suggests that this development paradigm is unsustainable socially, politically, economically and environmentally.

The global economic developments since the end of the Second World War in 1945 are crucially important. Not only did the pattern of globalization in the world change, the internal dynamics of developing countries was getting determined by the global interests of big powers. Policies are based on the idea of `market friendly state intervention’. They are not about creating `free’ markets. The World Bank realized that these policies could lead to a social explosion as inequalities increased. So, it proposed `safety nets’ to give capitalism a `human face’, like what `welfare capitalism’ did in Europe in the 1950s.

But this does not eliminate the demand problem. Further, through twists and turns politics has taken a further rightward turn globally and discredited globalization in the last one decade. To deal with the growing crisis, since around 2015, Universal Basic Income (UBIC) is being suggested. This is a departure from the basic tenet of capitalism. Whether it is the idea of `safety net’ or `UBIC’, global capitalism seems to have accepted that it cannot generate `full employment’.

Global financial capital has been looking for a way out of the crisis. But it is not willing to go for basic changes that could provide a solution. In India since the mid-1960s, there has been an erosion of economic sovereignty as policies have come increasingly under the sway of global capital. Consequently, the government cannot deal with India’s problems in what would be the most desirable way.

Constitutional Aspect

The Preamble of the Constitution through its noble words promised, `Justice, social, economic and political’. There is promise of Liberty of thought, expression, belief, freedom of faith and worship. It propagates the Equality of status and of opportunity and to promote Fraternity, assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation. Without proper work, an individual will not be able to earn a living wage and will be poor. This violates constitutional provisions.

Of the 6 Fundamental Rights provided in the Indian Constitution, 4 are directly linked to economic aspects of incomes and work. These can be used to frame the `Right to Work’.

Issues of Youth, Education, Gender and Regional

Four factors need to be noted about unemployment in India:

1. Unemployment is entrenched among the young in the age group 15 to 29.
2. The more educated the person, the higher the chance of being unemployed.
3. This is particularly so for women.
4. Large numbers do not find work commensurate with the degree/skill they have acquired.

The unemployed youth unable to get a proper job, feels she/he has failed the family. There are taunts and frustration all around. Many get sucked into substance abuse, violence in the family, illegalities of various kinds or even suicide.

Teaching is also in crisis. It is unlike an office or a factory job. It requires commitment and originality. Unfortunately, most learning is by rote which prevents absorption of knowledge and damages education. The result is a vicious cycle of indifferent teaching and disinterested students. No wonder general standards of education are poor and businesses complain of unemployability. Further, given the loss of prestige and self-confidence of the research and teaching community, policy making has slipped into the hands of politicians and bureaucrats who do not understand the special milieu of education and try to achieve `standards through standardization’. This is anathema, especially for higher education.

The crisis in education has led to growing illegality in the field of education with all manner of fraudulent practices. In brief, the crisis in society is reflected in the field of education and in turn that aggravates the crisis in society by preventing a resolution.

Low participation of women in labour force (LFPR) weakens their position in the household and in society since they hardly have income in their hands. It works against their progress. Further, there are regional diversities regarding employment. The more advanced states generate more work and of better quality than the backward ones. So, the latter are the ones that depend more on public sector jobs.

Youth also expects public sector jobs. The public sector which employs barely 4% of the work force cannot solve the problem of unemployment. Why is there no youth protest on lack of jobs in general? True, a large number of posts in the public sector are lying vacant and need to be filled up. The lack of awareness of the wider issues among the youth is a direct consequence of the decline of the institutions of higher education and of youth politicization. Students are getting more and more alienated and trapped in social media and substance abuse. Many become open to believing in false dogmas, unscientific traditions and religiosity. With little hope for the future they are willing to believe that the past was glorious. And this opens them to right wing ideas.

Data Issues

Analysis of the employment situation in India is complicated by data related issues and difficulties with definitions. There is a paucity of data and lack of clarity. Those working in the organized sector of the economy can be counted but they employ only 6% of the workforce. What about the 94% in the unorganized sector? Data is patchy. In the Indian context, three definitions are used:

1. Usual status
2. Current weekly status, and
3. Current daily status.

Many work for a part of the day or week or year and are counted as employed. India does not have social security for the unemployed and there is poverty. This combination implies that people have to work to survive and get counted as employed. LFPR is low (45.6) compared to most other big or comparable countries. It has also declined since 1990 from 58.3 to 45.6 in 2021. Currently, it is lower than the figure for some other S. Asian countries.
In brief, India is characterized by under employment and disguised unemployment rather than unemployment. The problem is more acute in rural areas, among women and educated youth. Finally, various kinds of unemployment result in greater poverty, `social waste’ and lowering the potential output of the economy. This is a huge cost to the system and to capitalists.

Government in India is grossly understaffed. Per lakh of population, the number of judges, administrators, police, tax officers, etc. is much smaller than in most countries. The organized sector employment has dropped as a per cent of the population from 3.32% to 2.47%. It is not unrelated that the number of people enrolled in the labour exchanges rose from 34.6 million in 1990-91 to 40.2 million by 2011-12. In 2014 the promise was `minimum government, maximum governance’. Sounds good. But it should not mean reducing employment in government.

The problem of unemployment will not only remain but get aggravated if the organized sector invests more and grows faster. The focus has to be on generation of work in the small and micro sectors by improving conditions for their growth.

`Growth first’ is a self-serving slogan of the elite policy makers to justify their stance. They argue that the pie has to grow before it should be distributed. It is saying that trickle down will eventually work and the marginalized need to wait. Question is how long? Equitable growth can be faster than the current growth since demand problem will not keep manifesting itself. It will also be more humane and sustainable.
So, while government cannot directly create enough employment, it can create the milieu for employment generation in the economy by restructuring policies that would enable full employment. The rules of the game have to be set right and that means overhauling policies which do not target employment generation.

Since employment depends on the prevailing milieu, it is a derived variable determined by other variables. Some of them are, demand in the economy, GDP growth, investment pattern, technology, public finance – taxation and expenditures, entrepreneurship, education and skill levels, black economy and social waste. The problem in agriculture is growing mechanization which is displacing labour. People are forced to do whatever they can – the system is not generating work for them and in that sense they do residual work.
There are 6,000 large businesses, 6 lakh small and medium units and 6 crores micro units in the country. Most of the employment is in the micro units. Unfortunately, at present polices are made for MSME as a whole and the benefit is taken mostly by the medium sector. Micro and small units lack three things - Finance, marketing and technology upgradation. When even larger private sector units in India hardly develop technology, it is difficult to imagine that the small or micro units will do so. Government needs to encourage the setting up of producers’ cooperatives of units in the same line of production.

Factors Underlying Growing Unemployment

The important factors for unemployment are:

1. Employment is a Residual
Focus is on Investment in the organized sector which generates little employment.

2. Marketization, `Supply side’ Policies and Weakening of Labour
NEP have weakened labour and strengthened capital in a variety of ways. Labour is further weakened due to the division not only between the organized and the unorganized sectors but also among the many trade unions representing labour. Policy makers argue that flexibility in employment is needed. It is false since 94% is in the unorganized sector and has no protection. Yet, unemployment is rising. All these factors weaken labour which prevents it from demanding full employment policies.

3. Growing Inequality and Demand Shortage

Rising inequality in the economy results in demand shortage unless investments rise and/or government expenditures increase and/or export surplus rises. One way of overcoming the problem of excess production is to produce armament which is a form of machine. It gets destroyed and does not produce more output. Even if in the short run it leads to employment through war and armament, over time it reduces employment.

4. Technology Changing Rapidly

Some jobs become redundant while new possibilities open up. But, it is often not a zero sum game. Especially when the change is rapid there is little time for the workers to retrain for new jobs. The rate of technical progress has accelerated in the last few decades with introduction of faster micro-processers and rapid introduction of artificial intelligence

5. Black Economy is Large and Persisting

It results in policy failure, flight of capital and social waste. These factors leave the economy poorer, slows down development and reduces employment generation below the potential. It has slowed down growth by 5%. If the black economy had not existed, the economy could have been 8 times larger. It causes a shortage of resources for development and `expenditures do not lead to outcomes’. Thus, there is a direct and an indirect impact on employment generation in the economy. For instance, programmes to increase employment do not fulfill their promise.
6. Economic Shocks Damaged the Unorganized Sector
Policies favour the organized sector. It has been growing at the expense of the unorganized sector and reducing the employment potential of the economy. Of late, shocks have been administered to the economy through flawed policies that have impacted the unorganized sector.

a. First, the demonetization, premised on the incorrect notion that `black means cash’.

b. The second shock came 8 months later in July 2017 in the form of GST. The benefits
all went to the organized sector and the disadvantage to the unorganized sector.

c. The third shock in 2018 was the crisis in Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFC)

d. The pandemic and the lockdowns was the fourth shock and a most severe one.

Consequently, while the organized sector is doing well the unorganized sector has floundered and that has hit employment.

7. Inadequate Attention to the Social Sectors

The private sector has largely undermined greater investment in the social sectors so that they could exploit the business opportunities there. This is extremely short sighted since increased public expenditures on social sectors will not only lead to more employment but also more productive and better trained workers.

8. Poverty and Lack of a Living Wage

Poverty has to be defined in terms of the `social minimum necessary consumption’ which can be called the `living wage’. It changes over time. The economy has split into two circles. One of the well off 5% who are the real consumers and the rest who consume little. Thus, the growth of the economy depends on the former. But this sector hardly generates additional employment in spite of growth. So, elimination of poverty by granting everyone a living wage would set into motion a virtuous cycle of growth, equity and employment generation.

9. Gender Dimension of employment generation

Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) for women is much lower than for men. Globally India has among the highest and most unequal gender division of unpaid work. Providing suitable work to women will go a long way to eliminate unemployment.

10. Regional Dimensions of Unemployment
It is concentrated in the poorer states so better equity will lead to more employment.

11. Globalization and loss of Sovereignty

Capital is highly mobile and extracts concessions from society, like, weakening of labour, privatization of public sector and market friendly state intervention. All these have adversely impacted employment generation. Rich Indians want to globalize with the rich in the world and their emotional connect with India and its marginalized has got diminished. Society’s amnesia about the idea of equity follows the growing self-centeredness of the elite rulers. Globalization is resulting in an international division of labour with polluting production in the developing world. So, even though employment has increased due to polluting industries it is at the expense of the environment and the health of the workers

Current Macroeconomic Situation: Unemployment a Growing Problem

The present situation of high inflation and low growth is characterized as stagflation. For the marginalized, this is double whammy. The situation has been further complicated by the global problems of war in Ukraine, China’s zero COVID policy and Central banks raising interest rates.
Government’s Solution Invisibilizes the Marginals
Government has been implementing `supply side’ policies when the problem has been lack of adequate demand. What the ruling dispensation could not implement since 2014 due to the opposition was sought to be imposed on two vulnerable groups – the farmers and workers. Farm Bills and the new Labour code were imposed.

The invisibilization of the majority is both in data and policy. They feed into each other. For instance, the declining unorganized sector is proxied by the growing organized sector. So, the growth data is incorrect.

Employment and Technology

Technology plays a critical role in determining how much employment will be generated in society. Further, technology is changing at a rapid pace and due to weak R&D in India most of the technology is imported. This technology has a lower employment potential than the existing technology in India and therefore results in growing unemployment.

Technical Change and Social Policy

Process of change due to technology is not costless for society or for the sections adversely affected. There is a need to evolve an appropriate mechanism for introducing technical change in society so that its social costs are shared by all.

Since new technology is largely being evolved in the advanced countries and it is appropriate to their needs but not necessarily good for a developing country like, India. Higher technology is supposed to lead to higher profitability of a company. But they lower the employment potential. So, those who import technology and reduce employment need to pay a tax which could be used to finance employment

Elements of a Full Employment Policy

Achieving full employment cannot be a piecemeal approach. This requires polices that will sustain the new state of the economy. It require drastic changes in the legal, socio-political and economic aspects of the nation. Some of the key required changes are discussed below. The details can be worked out at the time of implementation:

1. Legal/Constitutional Aspects
A `Right to Work’ programme should be chalked out

2. Socio-Political Aspects
Youth, farmers, workers, middle classes, women, marginalized sections, etc. should be mobilized to support the proposals.

3. General Economic Aspects

The changes will result in inflation. So, those who are not indexed to inflation will begin to lose their purchasing power. The question will be how much inflation can the system tolerate? Investment will be buoyant raising growth. If the black economy gets curtailed then also there will be higher efficiency.

4. Changes in Production Structures

As the incomes of the presently marginalized people rises, demand for the food and mass consumption items will rise. Demand for semi-durables will also rise to an extent. Demand for the inessentials will rise little. Thus, the structure of production in the economy will change with lower import intensity.

5. Agriculture the Biggest Employer - What Reforms?

If workers in Agriculture get a living wage instead of the paltry wage they get at present, this will increase demand for food and mass consumption items as mentioned above. Declaration of MSP for all crops, based on full cost will help in ensuring higher prices for farmers. So, both the incomes of farmers and workers will rise together. This will spur demand for non-agriculture and employment in small and micro sectors. Migration to urban areas will be stemmed. The need for expensive urban infrastructure will decline.

6. Social Sectors and Services

There is need to rapidly increase investment in social sectors. Since they are labour intensive they will generate much employment. Public expenditure on education should be increased to at least 6% of GDP and on health at least 3% of GDP. Physical infrastructure in the country is weak, especially in the rural areas. This needs investment. Allocation to MGNREGS should be increased to at least 1% of GDP. An Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme needs to be started for the unemployed youth. Budgetary allocations for infrastructure need to focus on small local projects rather than big infrastructure projects

7. Financial Services

They play an important role in development. Most of the micro sector and a large part of the farming community depends on the informal markets where the interest rates are high. Self-help groups and micro banking with regulation will help. The banking sector is also a means of siphoning out of funds from the backward to the more advanced parts of the economy and this needs attention.

8. Construction and Trade Sectors

After agriculture, these are currently the big employers. But their traditional labour intensive mode is being displaced by the automated ones. Public distribution (PDS) has to be strengthened so that prices can be kept in check. Local markets in villages (haats) and near slums in urban areas (weekly markets) need to be systematically promoted. Less capital intensive projects will take longer time to construct but the priority should be employment. A judicious mix of projects would be required.

9. Industry

Industry has many backward and forward linkages and needs to be promoted, especially in the MSME rather than the big sector. Industries that need to be specifically promoted should be determined by the amount of employment they can create. In these industries also, employment creation should determine the choice of technology. Production in the public sector (PSUs) should be encouraged, especially in critical items. They should be given autonomy with accountability to parliament. A strong public sector is also an aid to policy makers during crisis as was seen during the pandemic.

10. Reducing Import Intensity of Production

Essentials being less import intensive would require lower amount of imports and more of local inputs. Inessentials, like private four wheel vehicles are import intensive. Their production needs to be discouraged. One mechanism that is leading to greater import intensity is the increasing use of foreign consultancy firms and experts from the international financial agencies. The Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS) should be stopped to conserve foreign exchange and stop the flight of capital. India is large enough to work out an alternative path of development which is not autarkic but based on its own special needs

11. Boosting the Tribal Economy

Tribals are one of the most deprived section of Indian population whereas they are capable of being highly self-sufficient. If promoted appropriately, they will not need outside support in employment generation.

Resources Needed for Full Employment in Five Years

Currently Organized sector workers are 30 million Unorganized sector workers are 398 million
Currently proper work available to 428 m – urban unemployed 9 m – disguised unemployed 19m – under employed 24 m – MGNREGS 36 m 304 million
So, we need work for urban unemployed (9 m) + Disguised unemployed (19 m) + Underemployed (24 m) + MGNREGS (36 million) 88 million
Add the missing from Lab Force (190m). Total needing work is 278 million
To begin with, leave out MGNREGS and under employed 60 Million
So, immediately work required is for 218 million
At Rs.200/day for 310 days per person need (about 30% of current per capita annual income) Rs.62,000/person/annum
For 21.8 crore people need per annum Rs.13.52 lakh crore
% of GDP of Rs.270 lakh crore 5.0% of GDP
Over 5 years, annual increase in expenditure would be 1.0% of GDP

Financing Full Employment

Resources are not Short
Rs.13.52 lakh crore 5.0% of GDP
1.0% of GDP

Often the argument against full employment is that resources are not there. But full employment means full utilization of resources and that will generate more resources in the economy. GDP would rise by 15.5% (half of the production in the non-agriculture unorganized sector). This does not take into account the second round increase in GDP as demand increases in the economy. Even the organized sector incomes would increase.
So, achieving full employment would be self-financing.

If there is shortage of resources it is for the consumerism of the rich and upper classes (say 5% of the population) and not the basic needs of the majority. So, it is the political will that is missing to solve the problems of the marginalized and of employment. Could this scheme of full employment trigger flight of capital and flight of the rich to off shore? It is likely. To minimize the impact on the financial markets, policy makers would have to put in place controls on capital account movements.

Tax Reforms: To Raise Resources

Direct taxes are not inflationary and can get the government much tax revenue. Currently at 6% of GDP, India collects one of the least amount of direct taxes. At a conservative estimate the changes suggested here would yield 6% of GDP over and above what can be additionally collected through bringing black incomes into the tax net.

Indirect Taxes are inflationary and regressive. They need to be reduced to lower the direct burden of the tax on the marginalized. GST on inputs and essentials should go. GST needs to be reformed. The proposed reform will remove the current disadvantage that the unorganized sector faces and that will revive it which will lead to greater employment generation. To curtail luxury consumption in the economy a cess may be levied on such items.
Indirect taxes should be cut by 5% of GDP to begin with. Cess on luxuries should raise about 2% of GDP.

Demand Changes: Impact on Tax Collections
Yes, there will be an impact as higher taxed items will stagnate while other items at lower rates of tax or nil tax will grow.
Reform of Expenditures
Expenditures out of the budget reflect the priorities of the government. There will be direct and indirect effects of expenditures on employment generation. All the three tiers of government need to be taken into account and not just the Central government’s budget. The Report presents the expenditure priorities that need to be followed.

Check Black Incomes: Redeploying Resources
Black incomes are outside the tax net. This reduces the government’s resources for development. At the current rates of direct and indirect taxes it could yield an extra 24% of tax revenue. This would provide all the resources needed for the above mentioned essential expenditures. The steps required to check it were proposed in the Alternative Budget, 1994-95.

Alternative Towards Resolution

Moving towards Job Oriented Sustainable Growth

For this policy paradigm requires a change and just a few initiatives here and there will not be able to alter the situation. Tinkering only shifts the problem from one front to the other. Globalization Related Issues
Marketization poses a twin challenge. Not only does it promote marginalization of the marginals but also encourages consumerism. Markets fail and that is why there is need for government intervention.

Markets not only do not guarantee full employment, especially in the short run, they also want unemployment to prevail so that labour is kept weak.

Rapid Technical Change

Technology is proving to be the enemy of full employment. Its introduction in society will need to be calibrated so that the problem of unemployment can be tackled over time. Further, it is a constantly changing so there cannot be a one shot resolution. Presently, globalization is forcing choice of technology since the economy has become an open economy and capital is highly mobile. While technology adoption in the country may be moderated, R&D development will have to be given top priority so that India remains abreast of developments in technology
For achieving full employment, the Report suggests reducing the degree of globalization.

Holistic Approach Required
This Report suggests the glide path that would be required. There will be resistance from the currently entrenched elite rulers. The Report suggests the need for socio-political-economic movements to change the consciousness of citizens to accept the `Right to Work’. There is need to create the wider consciousness among people about the highly adverse employment situation. Ultimately the political and social forces in society would be the deciding factors and that would require strong support for the proposals from the marginalized sections.

Conclusion

The unemployed are the losers and a victim of the system put in place and not because they are lazy or undeserving as the gainers try to project to justify their own gains. The proposals in the Report will be segregated into those that can be implemented in the short, medium and long term. Together they will set into motion a paradigm shift in policies but some immediate relief will have to be provided for the marginalized sections.

Increasing employment will result in greater production as well as in increase in demand. The shortage of resources for achieving full employment is an invalid argument since it can be self-financing. This runs counter to the elite perception that full employment would be a negative sum game for them.
It is pointed out that at present about 304 million workers have proper work while 278 million are in one of the four states of unemployment mentioned in the Report. So, even at a low level of productivity they can add 16% to the GDP and the growth rate of the economy will rise.

If a workable alternative to the present system imposed by international finance capital is worked out in India, it can be a model which other developing nations can also follow.

Achieving a more civilized and democratic society through moving toward full employment is feasible and in the hands of the nation. Let us together move to fulfill this dream.

Arun Kumar

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