One of the north Indian states recently launched an Urban Employment Scheme to provide 100 days of employment. That such a scheme is needed on a national scale, has been argued by many, including the PM’s Economic Advisory Council. Another level of urgency comes from National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB ) data which show that 26%or 42,004 of 1.6 lakh suicided cases in 2021 were by daily wagers. Inflation, particularly, in food and fuel, added to the problems created by a terrible two jobless years along with the huge impact of Covid on low-skilled workers. CMIE data shows that urban unemployment went from 7.32% in June to 9.57% in August this year, compared to rural unemployment for August at 7.68%. True, the Indian economy is growing, but indications of jobless growth are there. This is the ideal time to consider a national urban employment guarantee scheme. And without any strain on the fiscal exchequer, it may be best to finance the same, by the convergence of some of the schemes for social welfare. There are urban infrastructure projects and greenfield projects where workers can be deployed and the GDP growth of India, can trickle down to the last family and enhance social equilibrium.
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