In a resolution, the 23rd Congress of the CPI-M calls for intensifying the struggle for reversing neoliberal policies and advancing instead along a path of democratic development that would create decent jobs and a living wage for all. The resolution says that the the extent of unemployment in India has risen sharply, both in absolute numbers and as a share of the labour force, in the last four years.The official data on unemployment are a gross underestimation. The distress is especially severe in view of the absence of any meaningful social security provisions for the overwhelming majority of the population.
Rise in unemployment has been more or less continuous over the last several years, with the slowdown in the economy as well as the severe setback to the informal sector following the disastrous demonetization (November, 2016) and badly designed and implemented GST (July 1, 2017 onwards). The so-called usual status unemployment rate rose from 2.2 per cent in 2011-12 to 6.1 per cent in 2017-18. The corresponding current weekly status rates were close to 10% for the young and even higher for those with some level of formal education in 2017-18.
Unemployment considerably worsened by the manner in which the Union government handled the pandemic and by its ultra-neoliberal economic policies that denied adequate provision of cash and grain transfers to households outside the income tax net. Unemployment among women is also increasing very rapidly. Nearly 35 percent of women graduates remain unemployed. Lack of vacancies in central, state governments and various departments of the PSUs are lying vacant. Many of them are being de-notified. The 23rd Congress demands immediate filling of these vacancies.
The 23rd Congress of the CPI(M) demands that 200 person-days of employment be provided for each worker under MGNREGA, and that an Urban Employment Guarantee be introduced in all urban areas of India. The government should substantially increase its expenditure on education and infrastructural facilities thereby generating employment.