New York: India is likely to clock a 7.5% economic growth in the current fiscal, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya has said, even as he acknowledged that creation of 'good jobs' in the country remains a big challenge.
"For the current fiscal year of 2017-18, I expect that we will be back to at least 7.5% and as you get towards the last quarter of the year, probably, we will begin to touch 8%. But the average for the year would be about 7.5%," Panagariya said.
Panagariya, who had presented India's 'Voluntary National ReviewReport on Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals' at the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2017 last week, however, said that job creation in the country, especially at the lower, semi-skilled level, "truly is the biggest challenge, probably bigger than growing at 8%".
He said that it is unfortunate that India's better performing sectors such as automobile, auto parts, engineering goods, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals and IT-enabled services, are not very employment-intensive. "All these (sectors) are either very capital-intensive or skill-labour intensive. There is a big need for good jobs at the lower, semi-skilled level. There we have got a big challenge," he said.
He said that he does not agree with the classification in some sections of the media that India's economic growth is jobless growth. "I personally don't believe that is true. We cannot be growing at 7.5% and then you say that jobs are not growing, investments are not growing at a satisfactory pace. All of that growth could not have come from productivity alone," Panagariyasaid.
He, however, acknowledged that there is not enough creation of good jobs that pay good wages. "...That really also requires some reconfiguration of the structure of manufacturing towards more labour intensive sectors," he added.