‘Sahab, Kuch Kaam Milega Kya?’ Demonetisation, GST Effects Continue, Deepen Jobs Crisis

Indiaspend writes “While the troubles of informal-sector workers and industry owners started after the Narendra Modi-government’s demonetisation programme–which invalidated 86% of India’s currency overnight–in November 2016, it was the implementation of the GST in June 2017 that led to unprecedented effects on small- and medium-scale industries, the primary employers of unskilled labour.

The effects are made worse in an era of Chinese imports. “Earlier we had seasonal employment during festivals, but now everything we use in our festivals comes from China,” said Gautam Kothari, president of an industries’ association in Indore’s Pithampur industrial area, and a former chairperson of a labour education centre run by the labour ministry. “Local people used to get jobs by making toys, lamps, but those job opportunities are no longer available.” A 5% increase in imports and decrease in exports can cost “thousands of jobs”, he added.”

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