NITI Aayog Jumps To Defend Modi’s Jobs Record As Debate Rages

01 February, 2019, 00:45 | Author: Sally Reid
  • Job data row: BJP hits back with Mussolini taunt after Congress chief Rahul Gandhi dubs PM Modi as ‘Fuhrer’

Two National Statistical Commission (NSC) employees resigned in protest over the non-publication of the job data, supposed to be released in December 2018.

The numbers show that Modi's ambitious Make-in-India project, which aims to lift the share of domestic manufacturing from 17 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to about 25 percent and create jobs for an estimated 1.2 million youth entering the market, has failed to take off.

The CPI (M) has alleged that the latest NSSO data on employment had been suppressed by the government as it showed joblessness had reached a four-decade high post-demonetisation and demanded that all such data be released immediately.

NITI Aayog has said that a yet-to-be-released report that says the country's unemployment rate rose to a 45-year-high in 2017-18 is "not verified".

"The feeling that we are trying to hide something is incorrect", NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant added.

The report said the report showed that joblessness stood at 7.8 percent in urban areas compared with 5.3 parts in the countryside. Lack of good quality jobs and a large informal sector is adding to our economic woes stated Kant.

Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the main opposition Congress party who the polls show is closing in on Modi's lead in the election due by May, said the job report showed "a national disaster". When the data is ready we will release it. Data collection method is different now; we are using a computer assisted personal interviewee in the new survey.

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He also debunked claims of jobless growth, saying how can a country grow at an average of 7 per cent without employment. The unemployment rate for rural women stood at 13.6 percent, compared to 4.8 percent in 2011-12.

Last year, the government had adopted a similar tone and completely disregarded a report of a sub-committee of the NSC headed by N.R. Bhanumurthy, a professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, saying the methodology for calculation of the back-series had not been finalised.

Though India's economy has been expanding by 7 percent plus annually, uneven growth has meant that new jobs are not keeping pace.

"Even if the government was still processing quarterly estimates for urban areas, it would have the data from July 2017-June 2018".

Periodic labour force surveys were launched in April 2017, aimed at providing reliable job level data.

Some sociologists say that there are instances of a correlation between high unemployment and an increase in criminal behaviour.

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