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Let there be proper Job Data mechanism, salary accounts can be tapped: ASSOCHAM


Sunday, June 10, 2018

New Delhi, 9 June 2018:
India needs to develop a credible system of mapping job creation or any other reverse trend , at least in the formal sector so that the government's policies along with those of several other sectors such as financial markets, consumer goods companies, automobile manufacturers , real estate etc are anchored accordingly, the ASSOCHAM has said. 
"Like we release inflation data , industrial output numbers and several other high frequency data every month, we must create a system sooner than later so that the payroll numbers are released month on month," the Chamber Secretary General Mr D S Rawat said. 
He said, if a large part of our economy is getting formalised, the mapping of job creation should not be difficult. "We do not need traditional sample surveys. Since the wages are all paid through banking channels, we can just capture the salary data from the banks and collate it , compare it , " the ASSOCHAM said. 
It said, while there could still be some doubt left whether the jobs creation in the formal sector is additional employment or a shift from the informal to formal, like the ongoing debate about the EPFO, "The monthly data can make it clear that it is about the fresh jobs in the formal sector......By and by with measures like the Goods and Services Tax, as a larger part of the economy gets captured into formalisation, we would go on improving on the job data base. At least we have to make a beginning somewhere". 
The existing system of job mapping lacks the dynamism and somewhat comes with a lag. Then there are issues of sectoral mapping. "First, let there be a simple data from the banks as to how many new salary accounts were opened... With the banks' network linked along with the PAN of the Income Tax (in most cases), the overlap with regard to shifting of manpower from one organisation to the other and from one bank account to the other can be sorted out by the technological tools". 
The chamber said for any mature economy, the pay roll data is crucial for anchoring policies with regard to interest rates, welfare measures, investment incentives, taxation. 
As for the rural jobs, "it is almost given that the migration continues to take place from the agriculture and allied sectors to the other areas and from villages and small towns to bigger cities". But for now, at least let us start with formal sectors. 
The ASSOCHAM said the national economic policies must be data driven rather than anecdotal pieces of information, collected from here and there. Besides, there should one central agency responsible for this . "Too many departments and agencies should not be encouraged to come out with their own data. They should collate all the information at one point and then release it". 

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