The promise of jobs in Bihar election

By Mrgya V

Short term illusions creating haze in the way of long term perspective

According to an American political scientist Larry Diamond, free and fair elections are one one of the four basic elements of Democracy. With the same thought in mind, the members of Indian constituent assembly ensured autonomy to the election commission of India. They chose parliamentary form of democracy instead of presidential form so that the citizens can be saved from personality cult and there is representation of each and every section of society. Parties, with different ideologies, got formed but with the same goal of welfare of the society. Now, the participants of a democracy  should choose a party or a member on the basis of their ideology, keeping both, the short as well as the long term goal in mind.

The Bihar elections have become a playground for the political parties where in order to secure a win they make promises which wont benefit the overall state of economy in the long term. It started with Tejashwi offering 10 lakh government jobs if he wins in this election. Out of these, 4.5 lakh jobs will be provided by filling the existing vacancies and the rest 5.5 lakh will be created in those areas which are related to bihar`s progress like medicine, education, police services etc. According to one of the opposition leader`s reading, these jobs cannot be created by Bihar government without compromising expenses on other heads. 

Following Tejashwi, BJP also came with a new and improvised idea of not “Giving”jobs but “Creating jobs” by creating jobs in both public as well as private sector. They will fill the existing vacancies which require 3 lakh jobs in teaching and 1 lakh jobs in IT sector and rest of the 15 lakh would be from agriculture.

The analysis on job creation

According to the opposition, the above is impossible without throwing the state finances in a tailspin. 

First of all, 10 lakh additional jobs would mean an expense of Rs 58000 crore which is more than the annual budget of Bihar. If 1.25 lakh doctors, 2.5 lakh para-medical staff are inducted, then Rs 22270 crore will be spent on salaries and for recruitment of 2.5 lakh teachers Rs 20352 crore will be spent. Rs 3604 crore will be spent on 95000 police officers. Rs 5780 crore will be spent on recruitment of 75000 engineers, Rs 6406 crore will be spent on recruitment of 2lakh peon. This amounts to Rs 58415 crore ; if Tejashwi`s government will spend this amount of money on these heads then how will it be able to manage other compulsory expenses like that on government schemes and pensions and salaries of existing employees.

If we take a look at BJP’s scheme, we will find the same challenge of expense in government sector jobs and, in the private sector, creation of jobs is going to demand time as well as money. According to BJP`s projection, 15 lakh jobs will be created in the agriculture sector, this, when agriculture is already facing disguised unemployment. If we assume that they are trying to introduce agro based industries, then also they are misleading people as  this job creation in allied agriculture sector jobs, agro business, food processing industries will also need time and investment in infrastructure, research and technology.

Now if we hypothetically believe that somehow Bihar`s new government manages to create 10lakh government jobs. Will it be sustainable for the economy of Bihar as well as that of India? Will it not be piling up more loss making public sector enterprises?

On one hand we are disinvesting public sector enterprises because they are not able to survive like that and on the other hand we are going to make that mistake again, filling more employees than the capacity of enterprise. What these parties are offering us is a few inefficient loss making public enterprises created out of our own money only for us to make them win.

We need to realise what is beneficial for us. There is an urgent requirement of employment amongst the youth of the country but just empty promises or unattainable goal selection will not help. What is needed is a blueprint where the government becomes the enabler of enterprises to generate jobs. This is true for the whole country as much for the state of Bihar. 

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