Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the lack of data on jobs is a major issue as no one has accurate details regarding jobs being created across formal as well as informal sectors of the country. In an interview with Swarajyamag, PM Modi said employment trends have been diverse considering interests and aspirations of today's youths. On the issue of the Opposition making a big hue and cry over jobless growth, Modi said he does not blame the Opposition as the country itself lacks the accurate matrix to measure jobs being created in 'New India'.
"When we look at the trends in employment in our country, we need to keep in mind that today, the interests and aspirations of our youth are diverse. For example, there are close to 3 lakh village-level entrepreneurs who are running Common Service Centres across the country and also creating more employment," Modi told Swarajyamag.
PM Modi launched 'Startup India Standup India' campaign in 2015. The initiative was aimed to build a robust startup ecosystem in the country for nurturing innovation and providing job opportunities to entrepreneurs. "Start-ups are working as job multipliers and there are around 15,000 startups, which the government has helped in some way, and there will be many more operational. Aggregators of various kinds employ thousands of youth," said Modi.
Citing the EPFO data on job creation form September 2017 to April 2018, the Prime Minister said a study on the EPFO data says that over 70 lakh jobs were created in the formal sector last year alone. "Now, you know that informal sector constitutes around 80 per cent of all jobs. We also know that job creation in the formal sector can have a spinoff effect on job creation in the informal sector too. If 41 lakh jobs were generated in the formal sector in eight months, how much would be the total formal plus informal sector jobs?" Modi said.
Critics have rubbished the reports on the EPFO data, pointing out that the data set is too small and the month by month variation in the data is too wide. The survey, a household survey that generally captures the state of job availability in the informal sector, done by the CMIE (Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy) on a regular basis shows that job creation is anaemic at best.
However, explaining why he thinks the country lacks proper job measuring matrix, PM Modi said India had 66 lakh new enterprises till July last year and that 48 lakh new business entities were registered in the next one year. "Will this not result in more formalisation and better jobs?" he asked.
Explaining through job data put out by the state governments, PM Modi said the previous Karnataka and West Bengal governments produced 53 lakh and 68 lakh jobs in the last term. "If states are all creating good numbers of jobs, is it possible that the country is not creating jobs?" he asked.
Modi also said that over 12 crore loans have been disbursed under the Mudra Yojana, which could have given jobs or means of livelihood to, at least, the equal number of people. "Is it unfair to expect that one loan would have created or supported means of livelihood for at least one person?" he asked.