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Thursday, February 7, 2019

India - Unemployment at 45-year high not official, says NITI Aayog after day-long Opposition attack

India - Unemployment at 45-year high not official, says NITI Aayog after day-long Opposition attack

The report said that the unemployment rate was 6.1 per cent in 2017-18, post demonetisation, and was highest since 1972-73. Two NSSO employees resigned in protest over the non-publication of the job data, supposed to be released in December 2018.

The NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Thursday dismissed the leaked National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report which showed unemployment rate at 45-year high during 2017-18. NITI Aayog said that the data on jobs is not official and has not been verified yet.

NITI Aayog's statements on the leaked NSSO report came hours after the government came under attack for withholding the NSSO jobs data from being released. The report was accessed by Business Standard and published earlier today following which the government faced a slew of attacks from the Opposition.

The report said that the unemployment rate was 6.1 per cent in 2017-18, post demonetisation, and was highest since 1972-73. Two National Statistical Commission (NSC) employees resigned in protest over the non-publication of the job data, supposed to be released in December 2018.

Addressing a press conference, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said that the released report is still a draft and is being completed. "The government did not release the data on jobs as it is still being processed. When the data is ready we will release it," Rajiv Kumar said.

"We have a evidence to show that jobs have been created. The government will approve the report which has not been finalised yet. The reason for the delay is it was felt that there were other quarters of data to be made available," Rajiv Kumar said.

On being asked about the the resignation of NSC acting chief P.C. Mohanan and his colleague J. Meenakshi, Rajiv Kumar said that they resigned over personbal reasons and the NITI Aayog has not contacted them.

"The confusion is created by some who are using a draft report. If it is a draft report, it cannot be said that the government is not releasing the data," Rajiv Kumar said.

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that India's growth rate is 7.2 per cent. "You can't be growing at 7.2 per cent and say no jobs are being created. The major problem is the lack of quality jobs," Amitabh Kant said.

"Nearly 7.8 million jobs have been created. We have to take into account the people leaving the low quality jobs. We are creating adequate number of jobs for new entrants. But we need to look at the quality of jobs. Both Ola and Uber have created more than two million jobs. In 2014, Ola created 37,000 jobs in 20 cities. As of 2018, Ola has created nearly a million jobs in the country. It is incorrect to compare the data with 2011-12."





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