Report claiming 45-year high in unemployment not verified: Niti Aayog
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Report claiming 45-year high in unemployment not verified: Niti Aayog

Niti Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar has clarified that a report stating that the country’s unemployment levels hit a 45-year-high is “not verified” and that the “data is still being processed”.

india Updated: Jan 31, 2019 19:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
NITI Aayog,Jobs,Unemployment
NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar speaks to the media in New Delhi on Thursday. (ANI/Twitter)

Niti Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar has clarified that a report stating that the country’s unemployment levels hit a 45-year-high is “not verified” and that the “data is still being processed”.

Kumar’s clarification came hours after the opposition attacked the government over a National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report that was leaked to some parts of the media.

Speaking about the report, he said, “The government had not released the data (on jobs) as it is still being processed. When the data is ready we will release it.”

Kumar also clarified that it would not be correct to compare the data presented in that report with the data collected in 2011-12 because the data collection methods from both periods are different.

“We are using a computer assisted personal interviewee in the new survey. It is not right to compare the two data sets. This data is not verified. It is not correct to use this report as final,” Kumar said.

Explaining Kumar’s point that the two reports can’t be compared, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said earlier the data collection and analysis was done in five years.

Also Watch: Unemployment rate is highest in last 45 years in India: Kapil Sibal

“We are doing it quarter by quarter. We are capturing incremental change. You need to have four quarters to see if there is an increase or decrease. You’ll need data from fifth quarter to be able to compare the data,” Kant said.

While saying that enough jobs were being created, Kant said, “There is a lack of good quality jobs.”

“The Niti Aayog analysis shows that we are creating 7-8 million jobs. Conventional estimates had suggested that there are 12 million new entrants per year. New estimates suggest that because of higher education and declining women’s labour population, the country needs 7 million jobs.”

The Niti Aayog’s clarification came a day after a Busines Standard report, based on the government survey, suggested that unemployment in the country was at a 45-year-high during 2017-18.

The assessment by the National Sample Survey Office conducted between July 2017-June 2018, showed the unemployment rate stood at 6.1 percent, the highest since 1972-73, Business Standard reported.

The survey had become a bone of contention between the government and the Opposition with the latter accusing the former of having destroyed jobs.

Quoting the NSSO figures for 2017-18, Congress president Rahul Gandhi took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and referred to his pre-2014 Lok Sabha election promise of “2 crore jobs”. Rahul Gandhi said the promise was turned into a “national disaster” in five years.

“NoMo Jobs!” Rahul Gandhi wrote on Twitter adding, “The Fuhrer (a term used by Nazi Germany for its ruler Adolf Hitler) promised us 2 Cr jobs a year. 5 years later, his leaked job creation report card reveals a National Disaster.”

“Unemployment is at its highest in 45 yrs…6.5 Cr youth are jobless in 2017-18 alone. Time for NoMo2Go,” tweeted Rahul Gandhi.

Responding to Rahul Gandhi’s charge, the BJP said the Congress president “has myopic understanding of issues”. The BJP claimed that the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) data on job creation show “sharp increase” in employment generation. The party also called the report claiming unemployment at a very high level as “Fake News”.

“It’s clear that he has inherited Mussolini’s shortsightedness and has myopic understanding of issues. EPFO’s real data shows sharp increase in jobs, created in just the last 15 months. Only a man who hasn’t ever held a proper job and is totally jobless can peddle such #FakeNews,” the BJP wrote on Twitter replying to Rahul Gandhi’s post on the micro-blogging site.

First Published: Jan 31, 2019 18:43 IST