People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 08

February 21, 2010



Gearing up to Fight for Job Creation, Security


AS many as nine subject experts from various sectors presented papers at the all-India youth convention, organised by the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), on the issue of employment. Held at Banga Bhawan in New Delhi on February 10 and 11, the convention was inaugurated by CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat and attended by 300 delegates from 20 states. Serious discussions took place on the nine papers that were related to three main themes --- urban youth, rural youth and employment generation. The CPI(M)�s Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury, MP, also felicitated the convention.




The discussion in the delegates session brought out the serious impact of the recession in terms of job losses across the country. The youth, particularly those working in the informal sector, are the worst affected.

On the other hand, the entire country is witnessing migration of youth from rural to urban areas due to the distress in agriculture. On the other hand, migrant youth are facing serious problems in the cities. They don�t have any kind of social security and are compelled to work for as long as ten hours or more, which is a clear violation of the existing labour laws. Yet the government is increasingly shirking from its responsibility of generating employment, particularly in the public sector and government departments where there is a ban on recruitments.

At this two-day convention, the papers presented were as follows: Professor Jayati Ghosh (JNU) on Global Economic Conjuncture and the Prospects for Youth Employment; Prasenjit Bose (convenor, CPI(M) Research Unit) on jobless growth in India; Dipankar Mukherjee (CITU secretary) on the public sector and employment; Smita Gupta (Fellow, IHD) on Unemployment Status  and Alternatives; R Ramakumar (Assistant Professor of Development Studies, TISS) on Youth Employment and Agriculture; Babu Rao (former Lok Sabha member) on Tribal Youth in India: Problems and Issues; Rohit (Visiting Assistant Professor, IIT, Delhi) on Growth, Employment and Skill Development; Subhanil Chowdhury (Fellow, ICRIER) on Informal Work and Migrant Youth; and Satyaki Roy (Assistant Professor, ISID) on Disguised Unemployment: Perspectives and Challenges.

Six-member presidium comprising P Sreeramakrishnan, Pratim Ghoshm S Kannan, S Romadevi, Tapas Dutta and Mohd Amin Dar presided over the convention.

On behalf of the central executive committee of the DYFI, DYFI general secretary Tapas Sinha presented an approach paper on employment while DYFI president P Sreeramakrishnan introduced the draft demands charter adopted in the convention.

The three commissions formed were on rural youth, on urban youth and on employment generation.




In order to reiterate the need for broader and united struggles to fight and secure job opportunities for all, based on the recommendations of three commissions set up in the convention to discuss the papers the experts had presented, the delegates discussed a draft charter of demands placed in the convention and adopted it in the final session.

The comprehensive demands charter focuses mainly on three major areas. The first one is job security and social security for all youth who are facing unemployment and underemployment. So there is the utmost need of decent job and security for all the youth --- educated as well as uneducated. The second important area is that of self-employment. In today�s situation, more and more youth are forced to take to self-employment. So skill development programmes must be a priority area for the government --- in the rural areas and agriculture as well as in urban areas and technological field. Thirdly, the government must lift the ban on recruitment and bring in a legislation to provide social security to all those working in the unorganised sector.

Based on the demands charter adopted at its all-India youth convention on employment, the DYFI has given a call for broader and untied struggles. In the first phase, to popularise the demands and issues throughout the country, it will launch a campaign from March 1 to 20, conducting padyatras, meetings, conventions, seminars etc at the district and lower levels. On March 26, there will be militant agitation programmes throughout the country to highlight the demands and issues. In order to broadbase the struggle for employment, a national level Left youth convention will be organised at New Delhi where the future course of action for united struggles will be finalised.




1) Stop privatisation and disinvestment of central public sector enterprises. Expand public investment by CPSEs for expansion and modernisation using Rs five lakh crore reserves and surplus in sectors like power, railways, oil and gas, steel, coal, telecom, defence, research and development etc. Unlock the lands of closed factories in public and private sectors by removing legal hurdles for setting up new industries.

2) Lift the ban on recruitment and abolition of existing posts in different central and state government departments and PSEs. Make public the status of all vacancies in government departments and initiate fresh recruitment. Stop outsourcing, contractisation and recruitment of retired employees in permanent jobs. 

3) Release employment data along with quarterly GDP estimates. Stop releasing unemployment data once in five years. NSSO and Labour Bureau should collect and publish regular data on employment/unemployment, both for the organised and unorganised sectors.

4) Implement land and tenancy reforms and distribute joint pattas for land. Increase public investment in agriculture and irrigation; Strengthen public procurement of crops at remunerative prices. Provide subsidised agricultural inputs; Ensure small farmers� access to cheap credit, storage and marketing infrastructure.

5) Fulfil the reservation quotas and all backlogs for the SC/STs and OBCs. Implement the Ranganath Mishra commission�s recommendation to provide job reservations to minorities. Extend reservations to the private sector.

6) Ensure equal pay for equal work for women and men. Provide security for women employees. Prevent sexual harassment at workplace. Abolish child labour.

7) Ensure balanced regional development. Adopt special development package for the north eastern region with emphasis on infrastructure and industrial development like power, railways, telecommunications, oil refining etc. Provide government jobs to militancy affected youth in Jammu & Kashmir and the north east.




1) Expand the scope of the NREGA to all individuals, not only to households, and raise the cap of 100 days. Increase minimum wages to at least Rs 160 per day and ensure regular wage payment. Expand the schedule of permissible works to include individual beneficiary schemes, social services, etc. Delegate the decision making powers about the type of works under the NREGA to the states and local bodies.

2) Appoint local persons on a regular basis as village employment assistants or Rozgar Sevaks. Pay unemployment allowance to job card holders not given work. Combat corruption in NREGA implementation.

3) Enact comprehensive legislation for agricultural workers ensuring minimum wages and social security. Link minimum wages to inflation index.

4) Implement recommendations of the National Commission on Farmers on creation of skilled jobs in agriculture through horticulture, energy, plantations, animal husbandry, biomass utilisation etc. Set up farm schools in all village panchayats for training and skill development of young cultivators. Promote agro-processing industries in rural areas through small enterprises, cooperatives and self-help groups.

5) Amend the Land Acquisition Act 1894 and enact a rehabilitation and resettlement bill in order to minimise displacement and ensure adequate compensation. Ensure sharing of profit and livelihood security for land losers and displaced persons. Amend the SEZ Act to curb the real estate bubbles and tax concessions. Strictly regulate land use to prevent land hoarding and speculation; promote employment intensive industrialisation.




1) Ensure remunerative employment opportunities in tribal areas through NREGA. Strengthen public procurement at minimum support price for minor forest produce and coarse cereals; Strengthen the TRIFED (Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd.) and facilitate local level processing and value addition of tribal produce.

2) Initiate intensive socio-economic development programmes in tribal areas through expansion of PDS outlets, schools, colleges and hostels (especially for girls), training institutes, health centres, expansion of credit, irrigation, roads, power, telecommunication, market infrastructure, extension services etc.

3) Implement ST reservations in all posts and services. Extend ST reservations to the private sector. Remove anomalies and exclusions in notifying the tribes as scheduled to ensure that all deserving groups are included. Act against issuers and receivers of bogus ST certificates.

4) Recognise and vest forest rights for tribals. Distribute pattas speedily and implement fully the provisions of the ST and OFD (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act. Assign government barren and waste lands to landless tribals. Provide homestead land and housing to homeless tribals.

5) Prevent tribal land alienation. Implement Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas Act; Strengthen gram sabhas in tribal areas. Implement the provisions of the fifth and sixth schedules, and declare autonomous councils in tribal districts.




1) Initiate an urban employment guarantee scheme at minimum wages with one-third jobs reserved for women. Bring public works and infrastructure projects in urban areas under employment guarantee. Provide BPL cards to all unemployed persons and poor informal workers. Stop forcible eviction of slum dwellers, street vendors etc. Ensure proper rehabilitation of displaced persons.

2) Universalise social security. Amend central legislation to provide for provident fund, pension, health insurance, accident benefit and death benefits for all (not only BPL) workers in the unorganised sector as per the recommendation of the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector. Set up a national social security fund to finance the unorganised sector social security schemes. Implement eight hours working day for all unorganised sector workers. Strictly implement minimum wages and link them to inflation index.

3) Enact comprehensive legislation for protecting the lives and livelihoods of migrant informal workers, including pravasis. Impose strict punishment for anti-migrant violence and compensate the victims. Issue identity cards for migrant workers to ensure access to PDS and basic amenities like housing, sanitation, healthcare, schooling and social security.

4) Launch a national level programme on employment assurance and skill formation as per the NCEUS recommendation to provide six months assured training and apprenticeship to all willing youth. Expand vocational training institutes like polytechnics, ITI and ITCs and implement affirmative action in private training institutes. Initiate certificate courses in formal training institutes for those without formal school education.

5) Revamp and modernise employment exchanges. Provide unemployment allowance to the registered unemployed. Integrate employment exchanges with skill development initiatives and provide information on private sector jobs too. Launch government sponsored job portal (website) to disseminate information about employment opportunities in the public as well as private sector.

6) Enhance financial support for self-employment schemes, SHGs and small enterprises, especially for small women entrepreneurs. Provide cheap credit, training, quality control and certification/branding for the products of self-employment enterprises. Check corruption in self-employment schemes.

The gist of the demands charter comes out succinctly in the following slogans: Create secure job opportunities for all! No to jobless growth; reverse neo-liberal policies! Formulate a national youth policy!