Employment dilemma?

Prime Minister has asked the employment task force to create more employment opportunities in the country. The news is welcome.

There was the talk of a 100 percent employment and then of full employment not so long ago.  These promises have not faded from public memory.

Whatever they mean in political terms matter not much to the people. What matters is that unemployment is increasingly becoming a big issue in this our small society.

When thousands of our young people are increasingly becoming jobless, we are hitting ourselves at the knees. We must never make ourselves weak. It is time we talked some sense instead of talking big.

That there are so many jobs available in the country is what we have have been hearing for so long. And of the mismatch between aspiration and opportunity. Still we haven’t been able to make a good marriage of the two.

Let there be no shadow between commitment and reality.

If the task force has not been able to decide yet where our focus on job creation should be, it has  done a pathetically poor job. The government is no longer the biggest employer it used to be.  But where is our private sector today?

We have recognised that private sector growth is the main driver of the economy. Yet we have not had the courage to let it rise from the ground. Whose weakness is that?

Let there be no shadow between commitment and reality.

The fact is, we have just too many restrictions to allow economic growth. Credit facilities are too small with big obligations. We have relaxed some rules, but we can do more if real economic growth is to happen.

Economic growth can be defined in many ways. But the economic growth that creates no employment opportunities is not a healthy economy. Hydropower pulls our economic status, but how many Bhutanese do such big projects employ?

According to the labour ministry’s projection, 82,000 jobs must be created to maintain unemployment rate of 2.5 percent. The existence of mismatch between available job opportunities and jobseekers’ aspiration cannot be the government’s argument anymore.

It falls on each member of the employment task force to now come up with sensible and workable recommendations.  Sooner it is done, the better.

Growing unemployment is a sign of weak economy. Frail and spindly economy is the greatest national threat. Economy is sovereignty.

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