Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa on Tuesday claimed that contrary to the promise of providing 10 lakh jobs mentioned in the election manifesto of the Shiromani Akali Dal, industrial mismanagement had led to retrenchment of around 10 lakh skilled and unskilled workers in the past seven years.
Bajwa said the closure of around 18,770 industrial units and many such on the verge of closure owing to irrational tax structure, power cuts and irresponsible industrial policy had hit the manufacturing sector. He said if the thumb rule of 50 employees per unit losing the job is applied, almost 10 lakh people had been rendered jobless, thus affecting more than 40 lakh members of their families throughout Punjab.
"The progressive Punjab investment summit and now the agriculture summit being held from February 16 to 19 were political gimmicks to divert the attention of people from the real issues such as unemployment and the deteriorating law and order," he said.
"The information sought by the RTI cell of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee has blown the lid off the government's false claims," said Bajwa, adding that as per official records, the SAD-BJP government had provided jobs to only 35,034 people in the past seven years. He said 5.3 lakh people had registered themselves in the employment exchanges during the SAD-BJP regime from 2007 till August 2013 and a meagre 6% got the jobs.
Bajwa said that in Malwa, the home turf of the CM, the job scenario was grim. In Muktsar district, 10,884 youths registered themselves for jobs, of which only 41 got them. In Faridkot district, of 10,747 unemployed, only 43 got the jobs. In Bathinda, 255 unemployed got jobs out of 25,172 registered with the department. In Mansa district, 59 people got the jobs out of 4,537 unemployed youth, he added.
Border districts average 2%
Bajwa said that in the border districts of Amritsar and Tarn Taran, 1,228 and 591 people got jobs out of the 48,661 and 34,383, respectively. The PCC president said that of 2.2 lakh scheduled castes registered with the job generation department till August 2013, only 2,680 were given jobs.