Arun Jaitley says people in agriculture sector ‘grossly underemployed’


Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley on Sunday said that people in agriculture sector, which contributes about 16 per cent to the nation’s GDP were grossly “underemployed.”

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of Symbiosis International University campus at Kothur in Mahaboobnagar District, Jaitely said population in some of the developed countries was contracting and the trend may present opportunities to the Indian youth if they are trained well.

“Agriculture in India barely gives to agriculturists subsistence. In fact, people are already underemployed there.

We can’t afford to have 55 per cent of people in agriculture contributing 16 per cent to the national GDP. That creates inequalities.

In terms of manufacturing, our aspiration is that it should be about 25 per cent of our economy. And therefore we lost the opportunity when the first industrial revolution came, we lost the opportunity when the second and third industrial revolution came… that is low-cost manufacturing,” he said.

According to the finance minister, China and other Asian economies benefited more than India. “Now it seems that fourth industrial revolution is there for India to catch up…

hopefully we may… but we are not sure.”

“The hard reality is that we are a services economy and services do contribute about 60 per cent of our national GDP,” he further said.

Speaking about the promotion of higher education by private sector, he said it was unimaginable 20-25 years ago.

He said the population in India can become advantageous if they are trained and converted as human resources.

“We have one of the largest population in the world. And one important change that is taking place is that population in most developed countries is contracting. They have an ageing problem. They do not have even have adequate number of people to manage their own systems.

What do we do with this large population? Obviously education plays a very important role to create human resource. That human resource is not only useful to India but to the whole world,” he said.

According to him, as the country grows, the desire of people to get career outside the government increases as in a narrower economy everybody looks for a job in the government.

“But 20-25 years ago I would not have imagined that such large credible educational institutions or private educational establishments (to come up). Institutions at school level can come up, but at higher educational level was never anticipated,” he said.