In a bid to spur investment and create new employment opportunities, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday set up two Cabinet committees to deal with the two crucial issues. It is perhaps for the first time that the Cabinet committees on the two issues have been set up. A formal notification by the Cabinet Secretariat would be issued by Thursday. Government sources said both the panels, respectively on Investment and Growth and on Employment and Skill Development, will be headed by the prime minister.
The Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth will have Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sithataman, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari and Railways and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal as its members. The Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development will include, besides Shah, Sithataman and Goyal, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Skill Development M N Pandey, Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar and Housing and Urban Development Minister Hardip Puri.
Sources said there is a provision in Transaction of Business Rules to form Cabinet panels on various issues but the prime minister had not set up any such panel during his previous term. During the electioneering of the last Lok Sabha polls, the Opposition has fiercely targeted the Modi government, accusing it of having failed in keeping up its purported promise of creating two crore jobs per year. The opposition had also targeted the government, claiming slowdown of economy. The opposition has frequently targeted the government on the issue of unemployment. The data released by the Union Labour Ministry in May showed 7.8 per cent of all employable urban youth being jobless, while the percentage for the rural was 5.3%
The unemployment rate in 2017-18 was 6.1 per cent, corroborating the pre-election leaked report that had claimed joblessness at a 45-year high.