Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday dismissed concerns over the state of unemployment in India. Calling the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report as “wrong”, he countered it by listing 10 parameters such as electronic manufacturing and Information Technology. Furthermore, he questioned why the NSSO data did not take into consideration these parameters. Stating that the BJP never promised to give everyone a government job, he accused some individuals of deliberately misleading the nation.
Prasad opined, “I call that report wrong. Did NSSO include the numbers which I just listed? I have given you ten numbers. All are honest numbers. Not even one is present in their report. Why is it not there? In electronic manufacturing, Information Technology, Mudra loan, common service centre. We had never said that we will give government jobs to everyone. And we are not saying so even now. That is why some people tried to mislead in a planned fashion. And I am saying so with full sense of responsibility. I have said this in Delhi also.”
#WATCH Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Mumbai: That report (NSSO report on unemployment) is false. I gave you 10 relevant data, not one is present in the report. We never said we will give government jobs to everyone. Few people tried to mislead in a planned fashion. pic.twitter.com/FTGXuhzN19— ANI (@ANI) October 12, 2019
Prasad’s remarks about the NSSO come at a juncture when it still operates under the aegis of Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. The controversy originally broke out last year when the NSSO report on unemployment was leaked. While the opposition attacked the BJP for, the report painted a very negative picture, the government withheld it, terming it as a ‘draft report’. A few days after the BJP retained power at the Centre in May, the 2017/18 report was finally released. Incidentally, the unemployment rate of 6.1%, a 45-year high was the same as claimed by the leaked report. For the rural areas, the unemployment rate was 5.3 per cent, while in the urban areas it was 7.8 per cent. However, the Finance Ministry released a statement which said that comparing the new job data with the old numbers was faulty.