The debate around the job creation under the Modi regime refuses to die down. In the latest, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has written to 10 ministries, including the Labour Ministry, seeking data on employment generated in various sectors under them.
As per an ET report, the ministry has sought the details ostensibly to counter allegations by the opposition parties that the Modi government has failed to generate employment.
The ministries of food processing industries, labour, and micro, small and medium enterprises, are among the 10 ministries that have been asked to send data on the jobs created in the sectors that come under them.
The move comes as the I & B Ministry is aiming to highlight, during Independence Day celebrations next month that the promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his previous four I-Day speeches have been fulfilled.
As per sources, the data collected would be projected by Ministry through various mediums such as Bureau of Outreach and Communication (BOC), Doordarshan, press releases, and monthly magazines Yojana and Kurukshetra.
Interestingly, this move by the I & B Ministry comes within days of Prime Minister Modi rejecting the opposition's charge of lack of employment generation.
The PM mentioned more than lack of jobs the upsetting issue is lack of data of jobs. According to the Prime Minister, this lack of data is why everyone is questioning the ruling party.
“I don't blame our opponents for blaming us on the issue of jobs, after all, no one has an accurate data on jobs," Narendra Modi said in an interview with ‘Swarajya magazine.
The Prime Minister highlighted that the traditional parameter of measuring jobs is not up to the mark to measure the new jobs in the country.
He added that the lack of data on jobs had given the opposition the opportunity "to paint a picture of their choice".
The Prime Minister quoted the latest EPFO report which suggests 41 lakh formal jobs were created in eight months (September 2017 to April 2018) on the basis of payroll data. He said, “According to a study based on EPFO data, more than 70 lakh jobs were created in the formal sector last year.”
Meanwhile, the Modi government also recently announced a plan to solve the problem of lack of reliable job data plaguing the Indian economy by mapping employment in the country’s vast informal sector when the labour ministry starts publishing quarterly surveys on jobs in about a year’s time.
It is to be noted that while the EPFO data bolstered the government’s claims on job creation, an issue it has been facing criticism on, but experts also pointed out that counting new additions to provident fund subscribers may not provide an accurate picture. Critics also say that new data overestimates job creation in the organized sector as many workers, who were working on a contract with same companies, were added to the fund.