A day after he appeared to blame a lack of qualified candidates among job seekers in North India for unemployment levels in the country, BJP leader and Union Minister Santosh Gangwar today offered an explanation for his remark. A Minister of State (Independent) in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Santosh Gangwar had claimed that there is no shortage of jobs in the country but companies recruiting in North India told him they were unable to find candidates with the required qualifications.
"What I had said was in a different context. I said that there is a lack of skill and our government has started the skill ministry and we are giving skill training to the youth." Santosh Gangwar said today.
"I want to say that there is no dearth of job opportunities in the country. Those who come for recruitment in north India often complain that they are unable to find the quality in candidates required for the post they are hiring for," he had said in his constituency of Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday.
"I am looking after the same ministry and I monitor the situation on a daily basis. There is no dearth of employment in the country. We have employment exchanges for a purpose and we have also developed a separate system," Mr Gangwar added on Saturday.
#WATCH MoS Labour & Employment, Santosh K Gangwar says, "Desh mein rozgaar ki kami nahi hai. Humare Uttar Bharat mein jo recruitment karne aate hain is baat ka sawaal karte hain ki jis padd (position) ke liye hum rakh rahe hain uski quality ka vyakti humein kum milta hai." (14/9) pic.twitter.com/qQtEQA89zg— ANI (@ANI) September 15, 2019
In May, India's unemployment rate was pegged at a 45-year-high of 6.1 per cent in 2017/18. The figure, leaked by the Business Standard newspaper in January, was confirmed by the centre a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi was sworn-in for a second term.
Detailed official data on unemployment has not been filed for several years. Following release of 2017/18 figures the government declined to provide comparable numbers for more recent years.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati have hit out Mr Gangwar's comment, with the Congress leader criticising the Bareilly MP for insulting men and women in North India and using them to avoid blame for the economic slowdown.
The minister's comments come as India's growth rate slipped to 5 per cent in the June quarter, down from 5.8 per cent in the January-March period, its slowest in 17 years. Several sectors, from automobile to consumer goods have expressed concern over flagging sales.
Earlier this week Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was criticised on Twitter for appearing to link the crisis in the auto industry, which has seen double-digit falls in sales, to millennials' preference for Uber and Ola cabs over committing money to EMIs for new cars.
With input from ANI