Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said jobless growth, rural indebtedness and urban chaos has left the aspirational youth of the country restless, PTI reported.

“The suicides of farmers and frequent farmer agitation reflect the structural imbalances in our economy which call for serious in-depth analysis and political will to address them,” he said while delivering the convocation address at the Delhi School of Management, ANI reported. “The jobless growth slipping into job-loss growth, together with rural indebtedness and urban chaos have made the growing aspirational youths restless.”

Singh said the domestic challenges of India’s economy were daunting and devastating in their impact on society. Among the challenges facing the country were “grave agrarian crisis, declining employment opportunities, the pervasive environmental degradation, and above all the divisive forces at work”, he said.

A news report published in January said the impact of demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax regime could be far worse than what was shown in a leaked report of unemployment figures by the National Sample Survey Office for 2017-’18.

Data from the National Sample Survey Office showed that unemployment in India was at a 45-year-high of 6.1% in 2017-’18. In comparison, the unemployment rate stood at 2.2% in 2011-’12, during the United Progressive Alliance’s second term, according to the survey.

Singh claimed that creating additional jobs in the industrial sector has failed as industrial growth was not picking up. “The small unorganised sectors which were vibrant and contributing to the generation of wealth and employment opportunities have grievously suffered in the wake of the disastrous demonetisation and slip-shod introduction and implementation of the GST,” PTI quoted him as saying.

Singh said grandiose schemes and unproductive projects have failed to uplift the economy to its potential. “We are living in a fast-changing world,” he said. “On the one hand we are getting more and more integrated with the world economy and exposed to the global markets, and on the other hand we face massive economic and social challenges at home.”

He told the management students that they were joining the business sector at an important time when India was projected to be one of the top three economies in the world by 2030.