Production needs to be boosted to create jobs, says Anand Mahindra

Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra said on Friday there was a need to boost production to create large-scale jobs and take advantage of global factors that are moving in India’s favour.

Speaking to shareholders at the company’s 76th Annual General Meeting here, Mahindra said there are some gaps that need to be filled in order to take full advantage of the opportunities arising for the country.

“The most important of these (gaps) is unemployment growth. According to the CMIE (Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy), the Indian unemployment rate is around 7-8 percent. This is because job growth has not kept pace with GDP growth.

“Only 40 percent of the employable workforce actually work or are looking for work. The biggest sufferers are youth and women,” Mahindra said.

According to the latest CMIE data, the country’s unemployment rate fell to 6.80 percent in July, the lowest level in the past six months, amid rising agricultural activity during the monsoon.

The unemployment rate fell to 6.80 percent in July from 7.80 percent in June, according to CMIE data.

“With one of the largest young populations in the world, it’s easy to imagine the potential for social unrest if jobs don’t grow along with the young population,” said the Mahindra group chairman.

“The government is trying to do its bit and has (also) announced plans to hire 1 million people in government jobs by 2023, since the country has 900 million workers there is still a lot more to do,” Mahindra said.

In his opinion, most of the private sector job creation happens at the bottom end of the gig economy, which is not “enough”.

“To create jobs en masse and take advantage of the global factors working in our favor, we need to boost production. Even more important than large conglomerates are MSMEs, which can benefit from the trend towards localizing the manufacture and use of technology to create scale,” Mahindra said.

Mahindra said that in the US, 90 percent of new businesses are corner shops, and while their investments may not be huge, they create 67 percent of the country’s new jobs.

“In India too, MSMEs taken together can be a backbone for growth. While inflation is a concern from a business perspective, it can nonetheless provide a floor level for returns on productive assets,” he claimed.

(Only the headline and image of this report may have been edited by the staff at Business Standard; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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