Unemployment figures not released by government: NITI Aayog VC Rajiv Kumar

31 January, 2019, 18:37 | Author: Billie Castillo
  • Rahul Gandhi President of the Indian National Congress

Niti Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar said, "Government did not release the data (on jobs) as it is still being processed". Over the months, we have been feeling that we were not been taken seriously and being sidelined by the government.

The National Sample Survey Office has conducted a nation wide survey where the report was ready in December a year ago but the government had no intention to release it ahead of the Lok Sabha elections of 2019.

For instance, the rate of joblessness among rural males in the age group of 15-29 years jumped more than three folds to 17.4 per cent in 2017-18 versus 5 per cent in 2011-12.

According to the "Periodic Labour Force Survey" (PLFS) published by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), which gives the accurate picture of unemployment rate of the country, the unemployment rate in India stood at 6.1% in the period of 2017-18, which is a high rate in the last 45 years as quoted by Business Standard.

Kumar's clarification came hours after the opposition attacked the government over a National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report that was leaked to some parts of the media.

The report has been mired in controversy after two members of the National Statistical Commission (NSC) resigned on January 28, saying that the government had withheld its release. It is not right to compare the two data sets.

In 1972-73, the NSSO data showed unemployment at 5.18 percent, after global oil shocks and war with Pakistan.

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In 2011-12, the all-India unemployment rate was 2.2 per cent - the last available figure on jobs, after which the survey was discontinued.

"The Niti Aayog analysis shows that we are creating 7-8 million jobs".

The Indian economy has been expanding at a rate of over 7 per cent annually, one of the fastest in the world.

The report says more people are withdrawing from the workforce as the labour force participation rate is lower than in the previous years.

After the chaotic launch of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July 2017, hundreds of thousands have lost jobs in small businesses.

The government has been unable to keep its lofty promises of providing meaningful jobs to all, and policy missteps like demonetisation have only exacerbated the crisis in the Indian economy. And critics say the government's claims of economic success have sounded increasingly hollow.

The gloomy jobs data could be awkward for Modi's Hindu nationalist government to explain with a general election looming and opinion polls already showing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party unlikely to keep its parliamentary majority.

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