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Kerala Starts Mega Employment Mission to Create 20 Lakh Jobs

According to the LDF’s progress report, the aim is to increase the number of industrial units to 3 lakhs to create 6 lakh jobs

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan releases the progress report on the first anniversary of the second term of the LDF government in the presence of his Cabinet ministers in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has released a progress report on the first anniversary of its second term detailing the achievements corresponding to promises made in the election manifesto in 2021. 

The report, released by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the presence of his Cabinet ministers at an event held to mark the first anniversary celebrations in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday, focusses on the achievements in public health, pandemic control, public education and social welfare.

The report further assures the creation of a knowledge-based economy and reforms in the higher education sector. The revival of public sector undertakings, promotion of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), achievements in the IT and biotechnology sectors and initial steps taken towards big-infrastructure projects have also been highlighted in the report. The Vijayan government has been regularly publishing the report every year since coming to power in 2016.

Vijayan said that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) had “assured the people of transforming Kerala in all sectors even before the formation of the government in 2016. The LDF put forward a vision to advance Kerala in all sectors—a comprehensive development model based on social justice. The government has been implementing this vision”. 

During the 2021 elections, the Left Front had mentioned 900 promises in its manifesto. Of these, 758 have been initiated and are in various stages of progress, he added.

Ambitious mega projects such as the Silver Line have been facing unprecedented criticism from the Opposition. Infrastructural development projects in 2016-2021, including projects funded by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board, were criticised as well.

After releasing the progress report, Vijayan said that the government will ensure employment for 3,00,000 people through 1,00,000 MSMEs this year by promoting investment and observing 2022 as ‘Entrepreneurship Year’. The aim is to increase the number of industrial units to 3,00,000 so that 6,00,000 people, including qualified youth, could be employed, he added. 

On the promise of generating jobs, the progress report lays out a more detailed outlook. The government has initiated a mega employment mission to provide jobs for 20,00,000 unemployed educated youth in the digital employment sector. In the post-pandemic situation, the number of work-from-home job opportunities is estimated to rise to 18,00,00,000 globally within the next five years. The government will utilise this global trend in the digital industry to create more jobs in Kerala, the report says.

In addition to job fairs in all the districts, special ones and online fairs for qualified women (who are seeking jobs after a career break) were also conducted. According to the report, 10,457 jobseekers were shortlisted through the process. Through ‘One District One Idea’ programme, 58 innovation clusters of MSMEs have been identified and are being mentored by a digital university.  

The eradication of extreme poverty is another major mission of Vijayan’s second term. On the progress of the mega effort, which aims to lift the poorest out of poverty, the report says that 64,006 families have been identified through a detailed survey in 19,489 wards of local self-governing (LSG) bodies. The LSG department has been working on micro-plans for each family.  

According to the report, infrastructural facilities with 29,00,000 square yards are under construction at various IT parks, including Technopark, Infopark and Cyberpark. Four IT corridors parallel to National Highway 66 are being designed. As many as 10,400 new jobs were created at three state IT parks, and 181 new companies have also started operations.

Under K-Phone, another ambitious project started during the LDF’s first term, more than 20,000 offices in various districts have received connections. The scheme to provide free Internet connections to 100 BPL families in 140 constituencies is also progressing. Besides, the state government recently acquired Hindustan Newsprint Limited, Vellore, which the Centre had decided to privatise, and set up Kerala Paper Products Limited. 

The government also promoted tourism by initiating Caravan tourism, and tourist arrivals have increased by 51%.

Vijayan also reminded the “unprecedented challenges” (including Ockhi cyclone, Nipah outbreak, two floods in consecutive years and the challenge of COVID-19 pandemic) that the state government had to face in the past few years. He also welcomed suggestions and feedback from the public on the progress report.

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