NITI Aayog is unaware of jobless rate

NITI Aayog is unaware of jobless rate

The clarification came as the government faced opposition attacks over the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO)'s periodic labour force survey (PLFS), withheld by the government but accessed by a business newspaper.

The assessment by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), conducted July 2017-June 2018, showed an unemployment rate of 6.1 percent.

Critics say Modi's push for raising the share of domestic manufacturing from 17% of GDP to about 25% has not taken off over the last four years.

When the economy is growing at over 7 per cent, one needs to see where this growth is coming from, added Kumar.

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

The report said that joblessness stood at 7.8 percent in urban areas compared with 5.3 percent in the countryside.

The damning revelation comes just a day after a controversy erupted over the central government's refusal to release the report on unemployment despite the National Statistical Commission giving its approval in December previous year. If the unemployment rate has increased significantly, as has been reported, and the size of the workforce has reduced due to factors such as increasing educational enrolment and fall in the number of women who are looking for work in India, the number of jobs created between 2011-12 and 2017-18 could turn out to be even lower.

The report which has still not been made public, states that post demonetization, India suffered a blow in its employment rate and has been at 6.1% while comparing it with the UPA era, in 2011-12, the unemployment rate stood at 2.2%.

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"The CPI (M) demands that all data must be released immediately".

The report comes a day after shock exit of two external members from the National Statistical Commission. It also exposes the utter failure of the BJP-led government to deliver on its promise of providing two crore jobs every year, that is, ten crore new jobs during the last five years.

The government has questioned the report, saying it was "not verified". "Only a man who hasn't ever held a proper job & is totally jobless can peddle such".

Kumar said NSSO would release PLFS reports by March after processing the July-September and October-December quarterly PLFS surveys.

The report also provides the first numbers since Modi's decision in November 2016 to withdraw most of the country's banknotes from circulation overnight. He said there was a well laid out procedure for approving NSSO reports and surveys.

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 would be unlikely to keep its parliamentary majority.

But former chief statisticians disagreed and said the cabinet isn't supposed to approve NSSO surveys.

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