Sunday, November 29, 2009

Study shows Bihar emerging as job hub

Biharis, in general, have a reputation of flooding cities of other Indian states in search of employment. But this stigma could soon be a
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thing of the past as the state capital seems to be emerging as an employment hub. This is according to a survey by Assocham Placement Pattern Study for the first seven months (April to October) of the current fiscal (2009-10).

The good news comes close on the heels of chief minister Nitish Kumar saying that Bihar, which was once dubbed a failed state, is now a success story under his stewardship. On Tuesday, he completed four years in office as CM.

The APP report talks of different aspects of employment, including sectoral patterns and performance of different categories of cities in terms of employment generation.

Under the city classification, Patna has been placed in Tier II along with 17 other major Indian cities. The cities jointly contributed 18.82 per cent in terms of total employment generation in the country in the said period and Patna’s contribution of 0.41 per cent was higher than Indore’s (0.33 per cent), Nagpur’s (0.32 per cent), Cochin’s (0.32 per cent), Ludhiana’s (0.28 per cent), Bhubaneswar’s (0.25 per cent), Bhopal’s (0.21 per cent), Amritsar’s (0.18 per cent) and Gwalior’s (0.17 per cent).

Cities which have a greater share than Patna in this aspect, are Pune (5.46 per cent), Ahmedabad (5.01 per cent), Chandigarh (1.95 per cent), Surat (1.13 per cent), Lucknow (0.82 per cent), Gandhi Nagar (0.80 per cent), Jaipur (0.68 per cent) and Vishakapatnam (0.50 per cent).

There is yet another area in which Patna has left behind cities like Bhopal, Amritsar, Gwalior and Ludhiana. It pertains to a percentage growth in job creation during April-October 2009-10 compared to the corresponding period of the previous fiscal (2008-09).

While the state capital recorded a growth of 20.52 per cent in this period, Bhopal, Amritsar, Gwalior and Ludhiana registered a decline in job creation by 26.68 per cent, 9.60 per cent, 6.27 per cent and 3.94 per cent respectively.

Economist N K Chowdhary attributes this to an improved law and order situation. "And overall positive approach of the state government has helped promote economic activities resulting in growth in employment," he said.

Concurred Bihar Chamber of Commerce president P K Agrawal, "Employment opportunities have increased both in organized and unorganized sectors with telecom, banking, insurance and real estate sectors being the most visible contributors in terms of employment generation."

However, Asian Development Research Institute director and economist P P Ghosh opined against drawing conclusions. "The high percentage growth in employment generation may be the result of a low base where even small growth is reflected very highly in percentage terms," he cautioned.

Ghosh, nevertheless, agreed that rapid increase in development expenditure in the past four years would certainly have helped in employment generation.

"Bihar has changed," Nitish was quoted saying on Tuesday after the four-year stock-taking. He even said that Amartya Sen and Nandan Nilekani had acknowledged this.

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