The tertiary sector has become the largest contributor to India’s GDP. The primary sector is the largest employer with more than 50% of the working population engaged in it.
The increase in production in manufacturing and services is not matched by an increase in employment opportunities in these sectors. The primary sector has a share of only 25% in the GDP, indicating its low productivity as more people than required are engaged in agriculture.
Removing a few workers would not affect agricultural production as some agricultural workers only appear to be employed. This is called underemployment or disguised unemployment. The surplus workers could be employed more gainfully elsewhere. Many workers in the manufacturing and services sectors suffer from underemployment.
More employment opportunities can be generated by:
- Improving rural infrastructure
- Providing easy, affordable loans to farmers to increase production
- Promoting agro-based industries like crushers, grain polishing mills and cold storage facilities
- Expanding education and healthcare services
- Promoting the tourism sector
- Proper implementation of employment generation schemes
NREGA guarantees 100 days of employment per year to every person willing to work, or an unemployment allowance if work is not provided. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is one such scheme launched by the Central government in 2005.