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Prime Minister Narendra Modi Launch CGD Project Boosting Gas Supply in India

The project has covered 96 cities and districts covering 46.5 lakh households and 32 lakh CNG vehicles so far

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Narendra Modi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone here on Thursday for city gas distribution (CGD) projects across 129 districts which won under the ninth CGD bidding round held recently, the Petroleum Ministry said.

At each of the geographical areas (GA) across 19 states in India, the authorised entities would also hold their event locally, a Ministry release said.

It said the projects, recently awarded by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), would cover 65 GAs to bring gas to around half of the country’s population in 26 states and union territories (UTs).

“During the event, the Prime Minister would also launch the tenth CGD bidding round in 50 GAs spread over 124 districts in 14 states,” the statement said.

As part of a larger plan to shift towards an environment friendlier gas-based economy, the development of CGD networks will increase the availability of clean cooking fuel or piped natural gas (PNG) and transportation fuel compressed natural gas (CNG) for consumers, it said.

The project has covered 96 cities and districts covering 46.5 lakh households and 32 lakh CNG vehicles so far.

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi (Wikimedia Commons)

PNGRB launched the ninth CGD bidding round in April for 86 GAs covering 174 districts in 22 states and UTs. The government has authorised bidders to develop projects in 84 of these GAs.

“Based on the commitment made by various entities in this bidding round, around 2 crore domestic PNG connections and 4,600 CNG stations are expected to be installed in the next eight years. This has expanded the potential coverage of CGDs to about 50 per cent of the country’s population spread over 35 per cent of India’s area,” the statement said.

Moreover, PNGRB has initiated the process of tenth CGD bidding round for another 50 GAs covering 124 districts in 14 states to increase the potential coverage to about 53 per cent of the country’s area covering 70 per cent of the population, it said.

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The e-bidding process was initiated on November 8, a pre-bid conference is scheduled on December 6 and bids can be submitted by February 5, 2019. Thereafter, the technical bids would be opened during February 7-9 and the Letters of Intent are expected to be issued by end-February, it added.

According to the government, while CNG is 60 per cent cheaper as compared to petrol and costs 45 per cent less than diesel, PNG is 40 per cent cheaper than the market price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) used for cooking. The government provides each consuming household 12 LPG cylinders per year at subsidised rates. (IANS)

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Are There Enough Jobs In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Led India?

“More young people are entering the labor force, millions want to leave agriculture but can’t find construction work because construction activity has slowed down because the investment rate in the economy has slowed down.”

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VOA
Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party dismisses concerns about the job data saying it does not capture the real picture because it focuses only on the 15 percent of Indians who work in the formal economy. Pixabay

For people streaming in from rural areas around New Delhi, the first stop is a collection of busy city intersections where contractors select daily wage labor from the crowds of young and old waiting every morning to get work.

Many standing at these intersections say they get work for barely half the month. “I have the ability to work hard. I never turn down any work. But I would prefer to get a cleaner, permanent job,” says 29-year-old Tek Chand. “The problem is one day I have money to buy rations, the next day I don’t.” Like millions of others, he migrated from his village three years ago to seek work and a better life in the city.

FILE - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, arrives with his cabinet colleagues on the opening day of the budget session of the Indian Parliament, in New Delhi, Jan. 31, 2019.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, arrives with his cabinet colleagues on the opening day of the budget session of the Indian Parliament, in New Delhi, Jan. 31, 2019. VOA
As India prepares for general elections on April 11, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being attacked by opposition parties for failing to make good on a promise he made in 2014 to create millions of jobs for India’s huge young population. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party rebuts that criticism and says India is generating new opportunities as it becomes one of the world’s fastest growing major economies.

Job creation is a massive challenge for a nation with one of the world’s youngest populations — half the country’s 1.3 billion people are under the age of 25.

Recent data shows that joblessness has soared to record high levels. Opposition parties have made joblessness one of their principal election planks and have accused the prime minister of failing the estimated 8 to 10 million young people who enter the workforce every year.

The independent Mumbai-based Center for Monitoring Indian Economy estimates that unemployment reached 7.2 percent last month and that 11 million jobs were lost in 2018. With a working population of 500 million, that translates into more than 30 million people waiting for jobs. An unpublished official survey that showed unemployment at a 45-year-high has also been widely quoted by Indian media.

India's main opposition Congress party President Rahul Gandhi speaks during a public meeting at Adalaj in Gandhinagar, India, March 12, 2019.
India’s main opposition Congress party President Rahul Gandhi speaks during a public meeting at Adalaj in Gandhinagar, India, March 12, 2019. VOA

On the campaign trail, the head of the main opposition Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi, who is seen as Modi’s principal challenger, talks repeatedly about a “jobs crisis.”

“Our government is refusing to accept that we have a massive crisis and potential disaster in front of us,” Gandhi told a group of university students in New Delhi recently, many who will be first time voters.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party dismisses concerns about the job data saying it does not capture the real picture because it focuses only on the 15 percent of Indians who work in the formal economy. It points to a recent industry report that jobs have been created in the medium and small sectors.

The BJP says millions of people have found work in the transport and infrastructure sectors or as delivery boys in booming online businesses as India becomes one of the world’s fastest growing major economies. They point out that the issue is not jobs but livelihoods, and point to millions of people who are not counted in job data.

They are self-employed people like cab owner Chain Pal Singh. As the app based taxi business boomed, Singh’s friend, who operated a cab, persuaded him to quit his job and take out a loan to buy a car. His decision has paid off — in four years he has earned enough money to invest in two more cabs.

Singh says he is much better off than when he held a job. “I used to earn about $225 dollars a month. Now in some months I can earn almost double that amount. Its beneficial for me.”

Following defeats in key state elections in December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told parliament last month, “This truth has to be acknowledged. The unorganized sector has 80 to 85 percent of the employment.” He pointed to millions of commercial vehicles sold in recent years and questioned if they had not generated jobs for drivers.

Economists admit India’s large informal sector has made it difficult to calculate employment, but they say joblessness or underemployment remains the country’s biggest challenge. While scarcity of jobs is not a new problem, two disruptive economic steps in the last two years exacerbated the problem.

In 2016 a sweeping currency ban meant to tackle the problem of illegal cash, dried up jobs as it created huge currency shortages, particularly in small businesses and in the countryside. A poorly-implemented tax reform known as the Goods and Services Tax a few months later was another blow to businesses.

Meanwhile, Modi’s “Made in India” campaign, which aimed at making India a manufacturing hub like China, has made a slow start and sluggish labor-intensive sectors cannot cater to growing numbers of job seekers.

“We can’t keep patting ourselves on the back that we are the fastest growing economy specially if all these other indicators are not growing at a rate that will absorb the growing labor force,” says Santosh Mehrotra, a human development economist at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

“More young people are entering the labor force, millions want to leave agriculture but can’t find construction work because construction activity has slowed down because the investment rate in the economy has slowed down.”

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He points out that exports, another sector that created a number of jobs has also not been performing well.

As the campaign heats up, the opposition will try to keep the spotlight on jobs, or lack of them, even as the BJP tries to focus on national security following a recent confrontation with Pakistan. The final verdict on whether to give Prime Minister Modi a second term in office will be delivered by millions of voters when they cast their ballots. (VOA)

One response to “Are There Enough Jobs In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Led India?”

  1. If the employment picture is bleak despite the construction of so many more Kilometers of roads, railways, air ports, bridges, toilets and other infrastructures compared to the five or even ten years of UPA government, imagine where we would be if we had UPA III government .