New Delhi : The president of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) has said that since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, far more jobs had been lost than created.
Baij Nath Rai added that the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes had cost many jobs as well. The union is affiliated to the Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
“Under the new government, 1 lakh and 35 thousand job opportunities have been created so far but 20 lakh people have lost their jobs,” Rai told the Kolkata-based daily, The Telegraph. He said that while the situation (per-demonetization) was similar under the previous government, demonetization has made things worse, especially in the unorganized sector.
“We have reports of job losses in the unorganized sector because of demonetization, but how deep the impact is has to be ascertained,” he said.
“Similarly, there are fears about a contraction of the GDP, but we have to wait and watch,” he added.
Rai criticized the government’s policy focus, saying, “Instead of working towards increasing job opportunities, the Modi government has so far focused on skill development. We hope the government corrects the situation.”
While saying while demonetization and skill development were well intentioned, Rai said the policies were not yielding results because of a lack of preparation. He said the government should have printed enough new notes and got more bank branches and bank accounts opened before announcing demonetization. He also said the government’s drive towards a “cashless economy” would be difficult to achieve.
“It’s not possible to turn India cashless because our society is predominantly cash-dependent,” he said “The government should promote the old commodity exchange system and develop the banking network to reduce dependence on cash,” he added.
Several other Sangh affiliated organizations have been complaining about the “cashless” campaign as well. An official attached to the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, the Sangh’s economic wing, told the Telegraph, “Demonetization is a well-intentioned decision but asking everyone to go cashless doesn’t appear a good idea in a country like India.”
Similarly, an official from Sangh farmer wing Bharatiya Kisan Sangh told the daily that RSS and its staunchest supporters – small traders – dealt extensively in cash.
“These traders donate in both cash and kind to the RSS, which too operates mostly in cash. The idea of going cashless contradicts the Sangh’s functioning over the years,” he said.
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