Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said during the Interim Budget that over 1.6 lakh youth joined the skill development scheme in 2013 and the National Skill Development Programme will get another Rs 1,000 crore next year to scale up the skills programme.
But will the additional funds help generate employment? Analysts are optimistic. Moorthy K. Uppaluri, CEO, Randstad India and Sri Lanka, says: "Skills gap has always been a serious issue in India. It is, therefore, very encouraging to see skill development has been highlighted in the Interim Budget, and is being considered as a priority for the government. This will ensure that people with employable skills will get added to the labour force."
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Analysts say though many capability building initiatives were launched in the past, the country needs to accelerate the execution of these programmes. "Skills development is not only the key to tackling India's unemployment situation but will also help in raising the quality of life of our workforce through improved employment opportunities," adds Uppaluri.
Uppaluri said Chidambaram's commitment to generate one million jobs is a welcome move and some of the initiatives proposed in the Interim Budget are poised to help the government reach this goal.
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For example, the decision to infuse more funds into public sector units will help these companies reach their expansion targets, thereby boosting job creation. Similarly, the move to reduce excise duties in capital and consumer goods industries will help these sectors in their recovery and spur job creation.
However, many industry experts say the commitment of one million jobs and other reforms/investments will depend on the coming election because this is an Interim budget. V. Suresh, head, Naukri.com, says: "There's a possibility as the sentiment is slightly better now than what it was earlier; if all goes well in the election. We expect there will be significant movement in the second and third quarter of this financial year."