RSS expresses concern on unemployment in India; Poverty described as ‘demon-like challenge’

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) General Secretary Dattatreya Hosabale expressed concern about the alleged rising income inequality and unemployment in the country, saying poverty was becoming a “demon-like challenge before us”.

We should feel sad that 200 million people are below the poverty line. And 23 crore people are earning less than Rs 375 per day. Poverty is a demon-like challenge before us. It is important that we kill this demon,” RSS general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale was quoted as saying by the news agency.

Apart from poverty, “inequality and unemployment are the other two challenges that need to be addressed”, he said.

“There are four crore unemployed people in the country, 22 crore in rural areas and 1.8 crore in urban areas. A labor force survey has pegged the unemployment rate at 7.6 per cent. We need not only pan-India plans, but local plans for production. There is also a need for employment,” he said.

He blamed the “faulty” economic policies of the previous governments for the “bad” in the economy.

Hosabale, however, said that several steps have been taken in the last few years to tackle this challenge. He lauded “Atmanirbhar Bharat” and several other initiatives of the central government like FPOs, Jan Dhan, and programs related to healthcare and digital revolution.

He also suggested more initiatives in skill development sector to revive cottage industries and increase their penetration in rural areas.

On inequality, he wondered whether it was a good thing that despite being among the top six economies, half of the country’s population had only 13 per cent of the total income.

India is among the top six economies of the world. The top one percent of India’s population accounts for one-fifth of the country’s income. And at the same time, 50 percent of the country’s population gets only 13 percent of the total income, Hosabale asked, “is this a good situation?”