Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government has constituted two new cabinet committees to tackle the challenge of growing unemployment and slowing economic growth.
The 10-member Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development, headed by the Prime Minister, includes Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal, Narendra Singh Tomar, Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', Dharmendra Pradhan, Mahendra Nath Pandey, Santhosh Kumar Gangwar and Hardeep Singh Puri.
The Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth has Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal, and is also being chaired by the Prime Minister.
During the campaigns in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the opposition had blamed the Modi government repeatedly for failing to keep the promise of job creation. But the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) returned with a bigger majority, even as these issues dominated the mainstream discourse.
The National Sample Survey Report (NSSO) on jobs, released last week, revealed that the unemployment rate in India is highest in the last 45-years, rising to 6.1 per cent in the fiscal year 2017-18. The rate stood at 9.9 per cent between October-December 2018, according to NSSO's quarterly bulletin.
The government, however, had reportedly said that the data released by NSSO was based on a new design methodology and, therefore, not comparable to previous data.
The economy also grew at a slower than expected 5.8 per cent in the first three months of FY 2018-19. The figure came down from 6.6 per cent in the last quarter of 2018, making it the slowest growth in the last 17 quarters. The figure also means that India no longer stands as the fastest growing major economy in the world. China, with a 6.4 per cent growth has the title now.
These committees formed ahead of the Union budget that will be presented by Sitharaman on July 5 will drive the attention towards taking measures to improve growth and enable faster solutions to the problems of slowing economy.
Besides these, the government also reconstituted six other cabinet committees – Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, Cabinet Committee on Accommodation, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs and Cabinet Committee on Security.
PM Modi is part of six of these committees, barring committee on accommodation and on parliamentary affairs. Home Minister Amit Shah is a member of all the committees.