Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Partap Singh Bajwa on Wednesday ridiculed claims of the SAD-BJP government on employment generation in Punjab.
Bajwa, in a statement here, said chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's tall claims of providing jobs to lakhs of unemployed youths was not only a white lie but a great mischief with youths awaiting jobs, including those belonging to reserved categories, Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Backward Classes (BCs).
Citing data obtained by Congress worker Jasdeepak Singh under the RTI Act, Bajwa said it revealed that the employment rate in Punjab was just 5-6% on an average since the previous SAD-BJP government took over in 2007.
The SAD had in its manifesto for the 2007 assembly polls promised to fill 1.5 lakh vacancies and 10 lakh jobs were promised in its 2012 manifesto. "Unemployed youths was given the false hope that 1 lakh jobs would be generated in the information technology (IT) sector by developing an IT hub," Bajwa pointed out.
He said a separate department of job generation and training was set up by the SAD-BJP government "to mislead people, whereas the fact is that the department is defunct and it has not generated even a single job in the past seven years."
As per the RTI information, the SAD-BJP government provided jobs to 35,034 unemployed persons (6.6%) out of 5.3 lakh unemployed registered with the employment generation department from the beginning of 2007 till August 2013.
Bajwa stated that in the Malwa belt, the home turf of the Badals, the job generation scenario was bleak. Only 41 unemployed (0.38%) youths out of 10,884 registered for jobs got employment in Muktsar district. In Faridkot, only 43 (0.3%) got jobs out of 10,747 unemployed registered youths. He said the employment percentage in Bathinda was only 1.01%.
Bajwa said the employment rate in the border districts of Amritsar and Tarn Taran remained 2%, while it was 1.5% in Gurdaspur, 0.4% in Pathankot and 1% in Ferozepur.
The PPCC chief said the track record of other districts, including Rupnagar (4%),Nawanshahr (3%), Patiala (6%), Sangrur (2%), Barnala (2.8%), Fatehgarh Sahib (2%) and Hoshiarpur (5.43%), was not much better. He added that Mohali, Jalandhar and Ludhiana districts had higher job generation of 24.9%, 8.8% and 18%, respectively.
The employment generation was 1.21% and 2.76% in the SC and OBC category, respectively, Bajwa said.