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Showing posts from March, 2014

Contractualisation of labour becomes major factor in Gujarat, across India

ASI data:  % women workers in industrial sector By Rajiv Shah The latest Annual Survey of Industries report, put out in March 2014, suggests that Gujarat’s industry employs nearly 35 per cent of its workers through contractors, which is proportionately the same as the country as a whole. At the same time, it says, women employees in the industry is on the decline.  The study, titled “India Labour and Employment Report 2014”, prepared by the a Delhi-based think-tank, Academic Foundation, says that labour markets have witnessed significant changes in the two decades, with a sharp increase informalization of the workforce. This has been happening at a time when the transfer of workers from agriculture to non-agriculture is slow, though with some acceleration in recent years, “but most of the employment generated has been informal and insecure”. Illustrating it by way of example, it says, “The percentage share of contract workers in organized manufacturing sector has increased from 13 per

Gujarat has higher than national average underemployment rates: NSSO

By Rajiv Shah  Gujarat government may be happy that Government of India reports have been saying that Gujarat has fewer unemployed than other states. However, latest reports, including the Academic Foundation’s “India Labour and Employment Report 2014” and the National Sample Survey Organisation’s “Employment and Unemployment Situation in India, 2011-12” report point towards the need to look at the problem of underemployment, which is higher in Gujarat than several Indian states. The Gujarat government has for long been claiming that its unemployment rate is one of the lowest. Quoting the Labour Bureau data, released by the Government of India, it said recently (click HERE to read) that Gujarat’s unemployment rate in the year 2011-12 “has the least unemployment rate among all states across the country”. Celebrating it as Gujarat government success, it officially declared, “According to the report, while India’s jobless rate stood at 3.8 per cent during the last fiscal, Gujarat showed

Poor female labour participation: Gujarat ranks No 12th among 21 major states

By Rajiv Shah  A fresh report on labour and employment situation in India, prepared by a high-profile organisation, believes that low labour force participation rate in India is largely because the female labour force’s participation rate is dismally low.  “India Labour and Employment Report 2014”, published by Academic Foundation, New Delhi, which created a ripple recently for coming up with a report in association with several other institutes of learning which said Gujarat is No 1 state in economic freedom index, has ranked the state as No 12th out of a total of 21 states it has chosen for analysis for working out an Employment Situation Index. The report finds that Himachal Pradesh is the best state in employment state, ranking it No 1, followed by Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, and Rajasthan. Despite relatively low ranking of Gujarat in Employment Situation Index (ESI), the report says, “Generally workers in

Improving human development: Gujarat's 12 yr performance below national average

Overall Human Development Index By Rajiv Shah  “India Human Development Report 2011” was recently updated in view of new facts on income, education and health indices. Despite the fact that Gujarat has improved along with other states, its improvement is not as fast as the national average. The updated version of the “India Human Development Report 2011”, released at a seminar in New Delhi on March 11, 2014, has found that the six states which have low human development index (HDI) – Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Assam – have registered a much better improvement in HDI than several of the progressive states, including Gujarat. The report goes a long way to suggest that the percolation theory – which presupposes improvement in social sector even as economic growth rate improves — does not really work. Prepared by the Institute of Applied Manpower Research (IAMR), Planning Commission, the updated report states, “Despite lower absolute levels of HDI in poorer

Gujarat’s poorer sections forced to spend higher amount on essential food items

Purchasing power of 20% poorest sections in rural areas (in Rs) By Rajiv Shah  Gujarat’s people, especially the poor, stand vis-a-vis other states with regard to their purchasing power. The latest National Sample Survey Organisation report, released in late February 2014, gives some indication. A comparison of poverty levels of 17 major Indian states in the latest National Sample Survey (NSS) report, “Level and Pattern of Consumer Expenditure, 2011-12”, has suggested that Gujarat ranks No 8th in purchasing power among the poorest 20 per cent of the rural population and No sixth in purchasing power among the poorest 20 per cent of the urban population. Released in February 2014, the report, based on the survey which was carried out from mid-2011 to mid-2012, suggests that the spending capacity of 20 per cent of Gujarat’s population is less than Rs 993 per capita per month in the rural areas, and Rs 1449 per capita per month in the urban areas. Purchasing power of 20% poorest sections in

Social obligations force Gujarat females to accept poor work conditions, low wages

By Rajiv Shah  An ILO-sponsored study has suggested that Gujarat development has failed to end gender discrimination in the job market. In fact, Gujarat is one of the four Indian states, whose labour rate participation rate has registered a decline. The study, “Low Female Employment in a Period of High Growth: Insights from Primary Survey in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat”, commissioned by the International Labour Organization, and carried out by Santosh Mehrotra, Partha Saha, Ankita Gandhi, Kamala Devi and Sharmistha Sinha, for the Institute of Applied Manpower Research, Planning Commission, Government of India, has found that, despite being a developed state, Gujarat has a higher level of occupational segregation as well as gender-based wage disparity in most of the occupations. “In vast majority of cases, female workers did not have any social security benefits to fall back on. Household responsibilities, social obligations, and security concerns often forced females to accept rather unf

Deceleration in industrial projects lead to dormancy in job market in Gujarat

By Rajiv Shah  Industrial investment trend suggests that much of the propaganda around Gujarat development has little or no basis. While there has been sharp rise in industrial investment intentions, the actual implementation has taken a backseat, and so has employment generation.  At a time when there is an acceleration in propaganda across India about Gujarat’s developmental model, which has allegedly helped attract highest-ever investment in the state compared to any other of state of India, resulting in the claim of a sharp rise in employment, the Gujarat government’s own industries department data suggest that there is a huge gap between intended industrial investments and projected job creation and actual investment commissioned resulting in real employment. Worse, the data suggest that there has been a sharp deceleration in the rate of job creation as also actual implementation of projects in Gujarat. A major reason for this could be that, according to experts, Gujarat has all a

Poor compensation for land acquisition, rampant mining in Narmada bed

By Rajiv Shah  Farmers in the area around Suva village in Dahej PCPIR in South Gujarat are restive. Their land has been taken away and handed over to top industrial groups, and they have received poor compensation. Worse, the entire area is facing environmental destruction, one one hand, and loss of livelihood, on the other.  The Gujarat government’s effort to acquire huge tracts of land, both public and private, to develop Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Industrial Region (PCPIR) in Dahej in South Gujarat as one of the 13 special investment regions (SIRs) being developed in Gujarat has caused flutter among the rural folk, especially farmers, of Suva village, situated on the banks of Narmada river, off the Gulf of Khambhat. Spread over 453 sq km of brownfield area, and likely to cost state coffers around Rs 1,809 crore (2011 prices) for land compensation, people of this village feel that despite such amount being mentioned in official documents for payment, they were cheated wit