Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an interview to Swarajya Magazine, on Monday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government has created many jobs but it lacks the data to back it. Raising the questions on the method of measuring new jobs, he said, "Our traditional matrix of measuring jobs is simply not good enough to measure new jobs in the new economy of New India." But if we take a closer look at the various reports of employment generation, it suggests a completely different picture altogether. Interestingly, Modi, who is known for only giving interviews to government loving journalists, remained mum on the impact of demonetisation and GST on jobs.
While India has been struggling with a sluggish growth of employment generation in the last decade, a large chunk of the jobs was severally affected after Modi decided to implement demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). A Reserve Bank of India report stated that 10 Lakh jobs were lost in the first two years of Modi administration. It also added that the country lost 7.7 lakh jobs and 3.8 lakh in 2014-15 and 2015-16 respectively.
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The tale continued further in 2016 too. A survey of eight industries conducted by Labour Bureau suggested that India only added 5.56 Lakh jobs during a span of 18 months (April 2016-October 2017). This means that India merely registered an annual growth rate of 1.8 per cent of the labour force. This little growth will be washed away if other sectors register negative growth.
The statistics continue to haunt experts. As per the estimates of the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), India's workforce participation rate registered a steep fall to a historic low to 40 per cent in March 2018 which was estimated to be around 43 per cent in 2016. The Workforce Participation Rate indicates the total number of the employed person in comparison with the total population. It means that 1.43 crore people, who were earlier employed, have been rendered jobless now.
In addition, the Labour Bureau's 2016 report estimated that 35 per cent of the workforce i.e 13 crore persons are either not finding a year-round work or is forced to work in a very low paid casual work. The crisis deepened further after Modi implemented demonetisation on November 8, 2016. As per a survey conducted by CMIE, at least 1.5 million jobs were lost in first four months of 2017. India’s employed force grew from 401 million in April 2016 to 406.5 million in December 2016 but it fell to 405 million in January- April 2017.
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Talking to Newsclick, Surajit Mazumdar, a professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University said that the major sectors like construction and manufacturing are very slow in their growth. He also refuted Modi's claim that disbursal of Mudra loans must have resulted in jobs. He said, " The government has given Rs 40,000 loan to per unit. What sort of jobs would this have created? By following such standard, Nirav Modi must have created thousands of jobs but he did not."
He added, "For the past 20-25 years, construction was the biggest sector which had absorbed the highest number of workers. It is not growing. Similarly, industrialists are also not putting new money into industries, which is further deepening the crisis."