Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Exporting Manpower ?

Our exports have been falling, month after month , for the past 18 months in a row

But this is not unique to India

With rapidly shrinking World Trade , exports of nearly all countries around the world are falling

Barring a few exceptions , economies of all the countries are declining

So , it came as a surprise to read a news report ( BL / 20 Feb ) , that , despite the fact that Malaysia has 2.1 million registered foreign workers and 1.7 million illegal foreign workers , it signed a deal with Bangladesh to hire another 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers , over the next 3 years  !

As expected, local trade unions have criticized this deal

Now let us not start putting together a strategy for Manpower Export , despite the fact that of all the countries in the World , India has the largest number of its citizens working abroad ( legal + illegal )

I believe , close to 22 million persons of Indian origin , with some 7 million in Gulf Countries

But trade unions and political parties everywhere are vehemently opposed to migrant workers who take away jobs from local residents

Even EU , which accepted some 1 million refugees from war-torn Syria / Iraq / Afghanistan , in 2015 , have started repatriating what it terms as " Economic Migrants "  seeking " better life " in EU , as distinct from political refugees

But that is not stopping 3000 such " refugees "(political or economic), from forcing their way into EU , every day  !

Within India , we have seen in the past ( and continue to witness , currently ) , economically backward people ( euphemism for " poor " ) , migrating to cities in other relatively affluent States , in search of livelihood , occasionally . causing resentment among local citizens

So far , such inter-state migrations have not caused any serious problem because of our Unifying forces of religion / language / culture / heritage / traditions and our Constitution

But with annual addition of some 12 million persons (including some 3.5 million graduates ), to our legions of job seekers , things could get ugly - especially since neither the Public nor the Private sector , can create this many jobs every year !

We need to find ways in which these millions can become " Self Employed "

I hope that each and every announcement that Shri Jaitley makes in his budget speech on 29 Feb , would lead to creation of " Self Employment " in the economically backward States of India

With most of our States being the size of many EU countries , we may not be in a position to Export Manpower , even across our State boundaries , forget across the  International borders  !

For Indian Federal structure to hold together , we must work on the double to reduce inequality between States !


hemenparekh.in / blogs

24  Feb  2016


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