Employment Generation Is PM Modi's Top Priority, Says Minister

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Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said Modi government hasn't done poorly in the job sector.


New Delhi:  From the Opposition to the government's own data, one consistent criticism against the Modi government has been that it has failed to create jobs in good numbers.

Exactly a year ago, government's own data showed that only 1.35 lakh jobs were created in 2015 and that was substantially lower than the 4.21 lakh jobs in 2014.

Perhaps the reason why Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya chose May 1 or Labour Day to claim that the Modi government hasn't done poorly in the job sector.

"We are not behind in employment generation program. For the PM, it is top priority,"the Labour Minister asserted at a function to mark the International Labour Day.

The Minister's confidence stems from the latest data published by the Labour Bureau on April 27. Despite the note ban, the Labour Bureau report claims that  sectors like manufacturing, IT, trade among others added 1.22 lakh jobs in the formal sector between October last and January this year.

Manufacturing sector alone created 83,000 jobs. But the report also pointed out that 1.5 lakh casual workers went out of the formal sector.

The government argues that's been compensated by the growth of self-employment opportunities in 2016-17. Data released by the Finance Ministry claim that four crore people took micro loans -- between Rs 50,000 and Rs 10 lakhs -- to start small businesses under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana scheme.

More than Rs 1.80 lakh crores have been disbursed under the scheme. The government claims that this, in turn, has been a jobs multiplier.

"Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana is giving employment to small people on a large scale. When I reviewed Telangana and Andhra, I found that even a small technical school that took a nominal loan now employs 30 people," Mr Dattatreya told NDTV.

Opposition trade unions question the government's claim. "There has to be a plan. The government is saying they have given loans and hence jobs will increase. This is just a presumption and there is no data to back the claim," said GS Mazumdar, an office bearer of the Left backed Centre for Indian Trade Union.


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