Saturday, August 11, 2018

Employment-Unemployment Statistics in India: An Urgent Need To Reinstate The Surveys And Release The Data


Sona Mitra
In a recent interview with the Swarajya magazine, the Prime Minister of India apparently said, ‘more than a lack of jobs, the issue is a lack of data on jobs’[1]. For those of us who have been using the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) data on employment and unemployment for decades now, such a statement made by the government, come as a surprise. As a researcher I have been using the NSSO data extensively for the purpose of determining the employment-unemployment situation of the country for over a decade and have informed most of my research on women’s work in India based on these data provided by the NSSO employment-unemployment surveys (EUS).

The other sources of data on employment and unemployment available from the Economic census (establishment surveys), Census of India, Annual Survey of Industries, the Directorate General of Employment and Training (DGET) suffer from limited coverage and therefore are not representative. The Census although provides the estimates of workers under the broad categories of rural-urban, male-female, main-marginal and a few others, once in a decade, it does not provide detailed information like the household surveys.

Unfortunately, in a recent move by the government, the NSSO-EUS has been officially discontinued since the last available figures for the 68th Round (2011-12). It is thus a fact that post 2011-12 we do not have any extensive information on the labour market situation. If we consider the six rounds of Annual Employment-unemployment Surveys conducted by the Labour Bureau under the aegis of the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MOLE) since 2010-11, which have been somewhat similar in size and methodology to the NSSO-EUSfrom its third round (2013-14), even those have not been continued after 2015-16.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

‘Son of the Soil’ Politics and the Spectacle of NRC in Assam


Taposik Banerjee

As the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) gets published in Assam we see an unprecedented humanitarian crisis slowly getting unfolded in the state as well as in the country. More than four million people have discovered themselves in a situation of statelessness overnight. While the fates of these people are yet to be decided one may wonder why such a massive exercise is being carried out. 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

On High Oil Price and Government Policy


Surajit Das

Petrol and diesel prices have reached almost Rs. 80 and Rs. 70 per litre respectively in the country today, which is definitely a cause of concern. Since oil enters into the production and transportation of almost all commodities and services, directly or indirectly, the overall price rise is expected with rise in domestic price of oil. Total consumption of petroleum products in India is around 200 MMT (million metric ton) and crude oil production in India is around 36 MMT per annum – the rest we import. Gross import is around 250 MMT plus LNG import was around 6 MMT in 2016-17 and export was around 65 MMT. The domestic price increased mainly because of sharp rise in the international price of oil from US40$ (in the second quarter of 2016) to almost US 80$ per barrel (in May 2018) as well as because of rise in the tax rate on oil from 37.5% (as on 1st September, 2012) to more than 50% (on 19th June, 2018) for petrol and from 20% to almost 40% for diesel, on an average, in India.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

A Report on the Young Workers’ Convention held in Kolkata on 12 June 2018


Ritaj Gupta
On 12th June 2018, Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU)’s Kolkata District Committee organized Young Workers’ Convention with the aim of bringing together blue and grey collar employees on a common platform to share their problems, exchange opinion and formulate an understanding to find a way out. This is a report about the convention:  


Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Transformation that Never Was: 4 Years of BJP Rule and the Economy


Surajit Mazumdar

In 2014, the Narendra-Modi led BJP received the special combination of overwhelming support from corporate India and from some sections of the people on the promise of delivering ‘Achhe Din”. Of course, the meaning of this slogan differed across the great economic divide in Indian society that the growth process of the last two and a half odd decades had created. Corporate India sought a revival of the dramatic investment and profit growth that had been witnessed in the boom years that preceded the global crisis – but which had since slowed down considerably, particularly from the beginning of the current decade. For the vast majority of India’s working people, the same slogan evoked no such memories of a rosy past since it never existed. For them, the transition from the boom to slowdown only made worse their already grim economic situation. Reasonable employment and income earning opportunities only became scarcer and the uncertainty associated with them increased. It is a breaking out from this trap that they therefore sought.