The Unemployment Time Bomb
The State Cabinet has decided to lift restrictions on recruitment in some of the government departments. Approval has been given for filling up vacant posts in the Department of Information and Public Relations, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Agriculture Department, Transport Department and Horticulture & Soil conservation Department of the government of Manipur. This decision of lifting restriction in some of the departments has been rather out of compulsion, as maintained by the spokesperson of the government. There have been vacancies of posts, and the lack of adequate staffs has hindered in implementing various centrally sponsored schemes. Here, one can definitely gauge the importance of centrally sponsored schemes in the State. In a setup where State sponsored schemes are almost nil, the only option is to cling to the centrally sponsored schemes. This dependency on centrally sponsored schemes has become painfully chronic, that a mistaken belief has taken roots, not only in the minds of the State authorities, but also in the minds of the people that central schemes are the only source of subsistence for the State. However, this is not to discount the importance of the centrally sponsored schemes. Instead, it is to be registered that these schemes are bound to be of significant help to the provincial States because of their larger economic framework. And it is fiscal imperative for the States to embrace the schemes. The modalities of this embracing, no doubt, could be given more thought.
The unemployment scenario of the State has remained bleak. In no time the numbers of unemployment registered in the State employment exchange will hit one million. There are also unrecorded numbers of unemployed, especially of those not registered in the exchange. In a sense, the State is virtually sitting over a million time bombs that can explode any time. It must be registered that unemployment has serious implications with the rise in crime in the State. In a scenario like this, the government can no longer afford to remain uninitiated under the garb of financial exigencies. This is not to suggest that the State should provide employment to all the unemployed, which is rather an illogical proposition. As many economists have maintained that the problem is more about employability, which is true considering the overall picture of unemployment in the country. At the same time, the issue of human migration is also bound to become more complex unless unemployment is not checked.
How does the employed fare in this scenario? Frequent appeals by the government employees for timely payment of their salaries are being made over and over again. The employees cannot, but make feeble appeal, fearing adverse action from their superiors. They are left to live on credit, putting their dignity and self-respect at stake, only redeemed by the sheen of being a government employee. What kind of efficacy and productivity can one expect from an employee who has been deprived of salary for months? Unemployment in the state assumes the proportion of Gordian knot. Will promoting tourism or banking on the much talked, ‘Look East Policy’ be the answer to this problem?
Leader Writer: Senate Kh