Budget 2017: Highlights for skill development and job creation

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In this guest article, Dilip Chenoy, Former MD & CEO, NSDC presents the highlights of Budget 2017 for skill development, livelihood enablement and employment generation. Let’s read on to know more about what the announcements and allocations mean to various initiatives, schemes and stakeholders in skill development and vocational training space in India.

The budget allocation for Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship for 2017-18 is Rs 3016 crores as against a budget estimate for 2016-17 of Rs. 1804 crores.  The revised estimate for 2016-17 is Rs 2173 crores. The total budgeted expenditure for Employment Generation, Skill and Livelihood in Budget 2017 is Rs. 17273 crore.

Budget 2017 HighlightsKey announcements related to skill development

  1. The allocations for Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana- National Rural Livelihood Mission for promotion of skill development and livelihood opportunities for people in rural areas to 4,500 in 2017-18. The allocation for Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) and credit support schemes has been increased more than 3 times.
  2. For imparting new skills to the people in the rural areas, mason training will be provided to 5 lakh persons by 2022, with an immediate target of training at least 20,000 persons by 2017-18.
  3. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKK) have already been promoted in more than 60 districts. We now propose to extend these Kendras to more than 600 districts across the country.
  4. 100 India International Skills Centres will be established across the country. These Centres would offer advanced training and also courses in foreign languages. This will help those of our youth who seek job opportunities outside the country.
  5. Decided to take steps to create additional 5,000 Post Graduate seats per annum. In addition, steps will be taken to roll out DNB courses in big District Hospitals; strengthen PG teaching in select ESI and Municipal Corporation Hospitals; and encourage reputed Private Hospitals to start DNB courses
  6. Two new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences will be set up in the States of Jharkhand and Gujarat
  7. By the end of 2017-18, high speed broadband connectivity on optical fibre will be available in more than 1,50,000 gram panchayats, with wifi hot spots and access to digital services at low tariffs. A DigiGaon initiative will be launched to provide tele-medicine, education and skills through digital technology.

Proposal to launch SANKALP and STRIVE

  1. In 2017-18, we also propose to launch the Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion programme (SANKALP) at a cost of ` 4,000 crores. SANKALP will provide market relevant training to 3.5 crore youth.
  2. The next phase of Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) will also be launched in 2017-18 at a cost of ` 2,200 crores. STRIVE will focus on improving the quality and market relevance of vocational training provided in ITIs and strengthen the apprenticeship programmes through industry cluster approach.

The job creation elements in Budget 2017 among others were:

  1. The coverage of National Agricultural Market (e-NAM) will be expanded from the current 250 markets to 585 APMCs.
  2. A Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund would be set up in NABARD with a corpus of Rs 2,000 crores to be increased to Rs 8000 crore over 3 years.
  3. Rs 19000 crore for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana
  4. Rs 23,000 crores allocation for Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin
  5. Specific steps to increase low cost housing
  6. 100% village electrification by May 1 2018.
  7. Increased allocations for Rural Roads and Roads Sector
  8. Solar energy additional 20,000 MW Solar parks
  9. Special package for leather and footwear sector.
  10. 5 special tourism zones would be set up.
  11. Legislative reforms will be undertaken to simplify, rationalise and amalgamate the existing labour laws into 4 Codes on (i) wages; (ii) industrial relations; (iii) social security and welfare; and (iv) safety and working conditions. The Model Shops and Establishment Bill 2016 has been circulated to all States for consideration and adoption. This would open up additional avenues for employment of women.
  12. A new Metro Rail Policy will be announced with focus on innovative models of implementation and financing, as well as standardisation and indigenisation of hardware and software.
  13. A specific programme for development of multi-modal logistics parks, together with multi modal transport facilities, will be drawn up and implemented.
  14. Creating an ecosystem to make India a global hub for electronics manufacturing. Increased the allocation for incentive schemes like M-SIPS and EDF to ` 745 crores in 2017-18.

Clearly, the opportunity to meet sectoral need in the skills space would increase for construction; infrastructure related sectors; telecom, electronics, IT including digital literacy and Telecom; solar energy; textiles; leather ( when the policy is implemented); tourism; logistics; cyber security among others.

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