Centre’s promised jobs data misses second deadline

In all probability, the jobs data will now elude citizens as the government is nearing the completion of its term and election fever has gripped the nation.

The controversial employment data of the National Sample Survey on Sunday missed another deadline with the Centre reneging on its promise to bring it by March 31.

This is the second time the Centre has breached the deadline, the earlier one being in December.

In all probability, the jobs data will now elude citizens as the government is nearing the completion of its term and election fever has gripped the nation.

In January this year, a leaked report of the government’s jobs data had showed that the unemployment rate in the country stood at a 45-year high in 2017-18.  The government’s think tank Niti Aayog, however, disputed the report saying it had inflated the numbers. The Aayog had also cast doubts on the methodology of the leaked data. Niti Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar had said that the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data, which was being vetted by a standing committee, would be out by March end.

‘Gujarat model flawed’

Adding fuel to the fire, a report released by global non-profit organisation Oxfam has found fault with the Gujarat model of development which is creating more joblessness in the country.

“We feel that the current developmental models have created this state of joblessness in the country. The promotion of mega projects, which are capital intensive at the expense of MSMEs which have traditionally been natural absorbers of labour, has been a force majeure behind this state of joblessness,” the report named  ‘State of Employment in India: A Political Narrative’ released in India last week said.

“A case in point is Gujarat which saw migrant pushback by local Gujaratis... The faultlines in the Vibrant Gujarat model are behind such seething tensions... It is a typical case of high growth but low job creation which is symptomatic of the job story in India. While investments worth Rs 20 lakh crore were signed, less than 10% of these were actually invested. Not only have actual investments diminished, they have not created many jobs also. According to the Socio-Economic Review of 2017-18 by the Gujarat government, between January 1983 and July 31, 2017, investments worth Rs 2.75 lakh crore have resulted in only 1 lakh jobs through 6,251 projects,” it said.

The Gujarat model is generating more jobless growth because of the promotion of capital intensive projects as opposed to labour intensive projects, it said. In its election manifesto in 2014, the BJP had committed to an ambitious target of creation of an additional two crore jobs every year, which attracted many young first-time voters — perhaps also first-time job-seekers.
“Five years down the line and in time for the next general elections, that story seems to be unravelling for the government,” Oxfam said.

According to the World Bank, India needs to create 80 lakh jobs a year to maintain the same level of employment rate. Between 2004-05 and 2011-12, the country generated 75 lakh jobs each year in the non-agricultural sector. But between 2011-12 and 2015-16, the government managed to create only 22 lakh jobs per year.

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