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Forecasts of fewer jobs dull India's demographic sheen: Report

Admin| Jun 01, 2016 - 10:29 AM India

NEW DELHI: Half-a-billion people in India are expected to remain in the agriculture sector by 2022, and per-capita incomes are likely to stay at around $1.50 per day, barely above the poverty line, says a report.

According to a research note by Kotak Institutional Equities , a revised forecast of India's labour market by 2022 is sobering: half-a-billion people are expected to be dependent on agriculture, contributing to only a 9th of the GDP. 

"We note that the 144 million new job opportunities that the industry and services sector have to create over the nine-year period from 2013-22 is woefully short of the around 250 million people who will become eligible to join the workforce over this time period," the report added. 

The report analysed 24 industry reports commissioned by the National Skills Development Council with similar reports that NSDC had put together around the end of the last decade, and noted that job creation estimates have "lowered significantly". 

The earlier forecast expected to see 654 million working Indians overall by the fiscal year ending 2022. This number is now seen lower at 575 million, it said. 

The earlier estimate had pegged Indians employed in agriculture at 114 million (or 18 per cent of the workforce) by 2022; the new estimate stood at 216 million (38 per cent). 

The implications of the new estimates and the poor job creation trajectory, will have significant implications for the Indian economy, the report said. 

"Even with the rate of growth in per-capita income expected to be the highest in agriculture, overall incomes are still so low that the average person engaged in agriculture would barely move beyond the poverty line," the report said. 

"...half-a-billion people are expected to remain in agriculture, and per-capita incomes will remain at around 1.50 per day, barely above the poverty line," the report said. 

It further noted that if 40 per cent of the population will remain in agriculture with such pay-offs, it follows that the poverty ratio would not fall below a 20 per cent of the population.

Meanwhile, the dependency ratio (the ratio of the non-working population to the overall population) will not fall as dramatically as envisaged. 

Moreover, with two-fifths of the population remaining in agriculture, this is expected to constrain the urbanisation potential of India, it added. 

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