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Dear PM Sir, Please Kill the Demon of Joblessness This Dussehra

Can we have a situation where there is no dearth of jobs? You’ll have to take tough decisions to make that happen.

3 min read
Hindi Female

PM sir, with you at the helm, we have developed the habit of ‘yeh dil maange more’. So, when you told us in Varanasi last week that you can be expected to take tough decisions, we became very greedy.

Since the ongoing festival season affords us an opportunity to ask for a wish, please allow us to ask you to take just one tough decision. Ek aur mushkil kaam, which no one else has been able to do so far. Can we have a situation where there is no dearth of job opportunities? You will have to take really tough decisions to make that happen.

Over Regulations Have Killed Sectors

Let me spell out what I mean. Take the case of just two sectors – construction and agriculture. I picked these two sectors because they, together with textiles and auto, employ the maximum number of people. And please take a close look at the current state of construction regulation.

Reliable studies show that there are, on an average, 34 permissions required to get a construction permit. And the process takes at least 227 days in our country, according to a World Bank report. On the contrary, it takes all of 26 days in Singapore and 67 days in Hong Kong to get that work done.

Take a look at the kind of licences required here – mining licence, tree cutting approval, borewell registration certificate, no-objection certificate to operate a genset, change of land use approval, and, hold your breath, a microwave licence.

Microwave Licence for Construction Permit

So many licences mean approaching multiple ministries and departments. Builders had told me some time ago that they are required to get approvals from the Airports Authority of India, Railways Ministry, National Highways Authority of India, Environment ministry, Ministry of Defence, Pollution Control Board, and Coastal Zone Management Authority, among many others.

Many of the builders I spoke to candidly confessed that they had no clue regarding some of the licences required to be obtained.


If a promoter of a construction company is made to do so much, he will either have a rethink on the work he is doing or will look for short-cuts. In most cases, he does both. The result is potential under development of the sector.

The point is very simple. Regulate the sector, by all means. But please save the sector from over regulation so that it grows and employs people.

APMCs Have Worked to the Detriment of Farmers' Interests

Let us look at yet another regulatory structure related to how agro products are marketed in the country. Agro markets follow the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) laws. APMC governed mandis have been found to be pro-traders to the detriment of farmers.

Studies have established that such mandis promote a culture of layers of intermediaries between farmers and consumers. While primary producers (farmers) get only 20 to 25 percent of what consumers pay, intermediaries end up pocketing the rest.


Can any system survive and grow when the primary producer gets a just a fifth of the total price? In such a situation, what incentive do I have to invest in agriculture and employ people?

These are just two of many examples, all known for years, of how regulations have stifled growth in the country. If mass employers do not grow according to their potential, how can we provide employment to the ever-growing tribe of the unemployed?

Kaam Mushkil Hai as It Entails Reducing the Power of the Political Class

But these regulations have survived because the political class milked them to their advantages. Getting rid of them, or at least suitably amending them so that they become growth friendly, will mean reducing the power of the state. Hai na ye mushkil kaam?


But you have shown that you never shy away from taking very tough decisions. The demonetisation decision was one of the toughest of them all. Equally bold was the decision to go public with the announcement of surgical strikes inside the Pakistani territory. The process of taking the country to Goods and Services Tax (GST) path has been an arduous one.

But not for you. And you went ahead despite opposition from many quarters.

So, on the eve of Vijaya Dashmi, may I request you to kill the demons of over regulation and discretionary power. If that happens, we will never complain about lack of job opportunities. We all will become true desh bhakts faithfully pursuing the goals of Swachch Bharat, Digital India, Make in India and other such initiatives.

Mushkil Kaam aap nahin karenge to aur kaun karega? Who else will take such tough decisions?

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