Demonetisation Current Affairs - 2019
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Oxfam India’s latest report Mind the Gap – State of Employment in India makes the following observations:
- Lack of quality jobs and increasing wage disparity are key markers of inequality in the Indian labour market.
- The report states that the regressive social norms continue to hamper women’s participation in the workforce, pointing at the decline in rural jobs.
- The report states that women are paid 34 per cent less than similarly qualified male workers for performing the same tasks. In 2015, 92 per cent of women and 82 per cent of men earned a monthly wage less than Rs 10,000 in India.
- The report highlights the questions about India’s growth data and emphasises that they do not reflect in the growth of jobs and the largest number of jobs were generated in the unorganised sector.
- Job generation was adversely impacted after demonetisation and hit the women workforce most. Women were forced to move out of the labour force to make way for men to get the few jobs that were available.
- Post demonetisation period witnessed a drop in households with two or more persons employed. Between January and October 2016, the percentage of households where two or more persons were employed was 34.8% and this dropped to 31.8% post-demonetisation, with women workers becoming the first casualties of job losses.
- Highlighting grim picture of ground realities the report states that caste and class continue to play crucial roles in determining the employment for men and women, especially in stigmatised vocations like sanitation, rag-picking, and jobs in the leather industry.
The report calls for a shift in development focus towards labour-intensive sectors to create more jobs and pushes for better work conditions to make jobs more inclusive. The report also calls for substantially higher investments in health and education to improve productivity.
Tags: Demonetisation • Education • Employment • Health • Indian labour market • Job generation • labour intensive sector • Oxfam India • Oxfam. • Wage Disparity • women' participation in the workforce
The minutes of meeting which had approved the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes has been revealed through RTI. The government had contested that demonetisation would help curb black money and a steep rise in Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes; check the circulation of fake currency and promote e-payments and financial inclusion.
Observations made by RBI
- RBI Directors had contested the government’s claim about curbing black money by highlighting that most of the black money is held not in cash but in the form of real sector assets such as gold or real estate and this move would not have a material impact on the assets.
- RBI Directors refuted the government’s argument about the growth in high denomination notes being much faster than the pace of economic expansion, by reasoning that when adjusted for inflation, the difference may not be so stark.
- RBI has stated that even though the incidence of counterfeiting is a concern, Rs 400 crore as a percentage of the total quantum of currency in circulation is not very significant.
Despite these reservations and disagreements, the RBI board had approved the demonetisation in larger public interest as it provided an opportunity to promote financial inclusion and digital payments. Further the government had assured the RBI directors that it would take measures to contain the use of cash and promote financial inclusion and electronic modes of payment.