This was a government that came to power on the promise of generating 20 million new jobs every year
Employment was the proverbial elephant in the room through finance minister Piyush Goyal’s nearly two-hour-long interim budget speech on Friday as the government battled public perception on the front, compounded by suppressed data showing joblessness touching a 45-year high in 2017-18.
There was nothing on offer by way of job creation but the minister used every opportunity to project some of the Narendra Modi government’s programmes as job-spinners while asserting that the “concept of employment” was changing across the world.
The words “jobs” and “employment” featured often enough in the speech but the Opposition was quick to cotton on to the fact that the budget — for all its election-driven agenda — held out no promises on this front.
While dwelling on the insolvency and bankruptcy code, Goyal said it had helped preserve businesses and jobs. And, if domestic passenger traffic has doubled during the last five, it had also led to a “large number of jobs being created”.
Goyal flagged jobs again in the context of the indigenisation of the railways. “This major leap in wholly developed technology by our engineers will give an impetus to the Make in India programme and create jobs,” he said.
With inputs from THE TELEGRAPH