Union minister Nitin Gadkari asserted today that the departments under him have provided employment to over one crore youth since the NDA government came to power in May 2014.
Though the opposition parties are trying to attack the central government on the issue of employment generation, Mr Gadkari said, the claims made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that his government has created lakhs of jobs are "true".
"What the prime minister has said is absolutely correct. After our government came to power under the leadership of our prime minister, my departments have awarded projects worth Rs 10 lakh crore. And I have statistics to prove that. It has happened in sectors like highways, shipping, port, inland waterways, water resources," Mr Gadkari said.
"These departments generate a lot of direct and indirect employment. In my departments, one crore youths have been given employment," he said.
Asserting that the rate of employment generation has increased in the past four years, he said whenever there is an investment of Rs 1,000 crore, "50 thousand to one lakh" jobs are created directly or indirectly.
While the manufacturing of equipment used in construction of roads and buildings have doubled, the cement industry is also growing, he said.
"So one can say the industries related to these departments have grown, giving employment to many as engineers, labours, truck drivers," he asserted.
Mr Gadkari said he was in the process of collecting data to support his claims.
"We are collecting data... I can take a challenge regarding my departments. We constructed a tunnel in Kashmir where 2,000 Kashmiri youths were working. In Zoji La tunnel, more than 4,000 Kashmiri youth would be working for four years," he said.
The minister was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event to mark the 50th foundation day of WAPCOS, a consultancy organization and public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
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