A NATIONAL level convention on employment and reservation was jointly organised by the Democratic Youth Federation of India and the Students’ Federation of India on July 28 at New Delhi.
Inaugurating the convention, Sitaram Yechury , CPI(M) general secretary said that with the current Modi government relentlessly pursuing the neo liberal economic policies, the rich are getting richer and the poor more poorer. 58 per cent of the total wealth of the nation lies with just one per cent rich business houses. The unemployment situation is at a record low and education spending is only a meagre amount of the GDP. Communal hatred is being spread across the nation to divide the people. Progressive youth and students movement should take the historical initiative to defend the secular and democratic ethos of our nation along with fighting the anti-people policies affecting the majority of population.
Placing the resolution of the convention, DYFI general secretary Avoy Mukherjee said that unemployment is plunging country’s urban and rural sectors alike. The report of labour ministry itself points that 4 out of 10 Indians in working age group are unemployed. All the government schemes for employment generation have miserably failed. Job creation under MGNREGA has consistently declined after the Modi government came to power. Schemes like Pradhan Mantri Employment Generation Project (PMEGP), Make in India, Start Up India, Skill India etc yielded no results. This BJP government had promised two crore jobs per year in its election manifesto, but even after 3 years, not even 6 lakh jobs were created. Unemployment rate increased from 3.8 (2011-12) to 5 per cent (2015-16). Informalisation and contractualisation of jobs are taking place at an increased pace. IT sector is facing huge job losses.
Agriculture sector is also facing huge crisis. Food production has drastically declined by ten million tonnes. Growth rate of agriculture is just 1.2 per cent. Farmers suicides are increasing. Modi did not keep the promise of fixing the minimum support price at 50 per cent extra of production cost. Farmers sell their lands and migrate to urban centres for daily wages jobs. The cultivating land shrank by 5 lakh hectares in the current financial year.
The convention demanded that all the notified government vacancies should be filled without further delay; stop outsourcing, contractualisation and recruitment of retired employees in permanent jobs; expanding NREGS and fixing minimum wage at Rs 350; starting urban employment guarantee programme; unemployment allowance of Rs 2000 to all who have registered in employment exchanges; complete loan waiver to farmers and extending reservation to private sector.
Speaking at the convention, noted economist Jayati Ghosh said the government is following neo-liberal policies by which there is a growth without employment. Unemployment among youth is one reason for them to join communal vigilante groups like ‘gau rakshaks’ for some kind of monetary benefits. The country is in a deep crisis where youth and students are the only hope to revive our secular traditions. Trade union leader, Debroy said the government is destroying labour laws for the interests of big corporates. The right to strike is an integral part of trade union activism without which the bargaining capability of workers will be seriously damaged.
SFI general secretary Vikram Singh welcomed the participants and DYFI president P A Mohamed Riyas presided over the convention.