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How Can There be No Jobs if Bengal Alone Added 9 Lakh Last Year? PM Modi Asks Opposition

PM Narendra Modi said the hollowness of opposition’s claim that nothing was being done on the job front was evident with a spurt in job growth in states like West Bengal and Karnataka.


Updated:February 26, 2019, 8:22 AM IST
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How Can There be No Jobs if Bengal Alone Added 9 Lakh Last Year? PM Modi Asks Opposition
PM Modi during Rising India Summit 2019

New Delhi: Reacting sharply to criticism on job growth under his leadership, PM Narendra Modi asked how was it possible that India was making rapid strides on several economic fronts without creating new jobs.

“Is it possible that with India growing at record rates, there are no jobs in the country? With FDI at an all-time high, Indians moving out of poverty at record rate, roads and railway lines being constructed, how is India not producing jobs,” Modi asked.

Modi said that the hollowness of opposition’s claim that nothing was being done on the job front, and that joblessness was increasing was evident with a spurt in job growth in states like West Bengal and Karnataka, which were governed by opposition parties.

“The West Bengal government is saying they have added 9 lakh jobs in the last year and nearly 67 lakh from 2012 to 2018. You may not like me, but believe them at least. Similar is the case with Karnataka. These people may not like me, but aren’t these states in India? How could joblessness in country be increasing with jobs are also increasing in this country,” Modi asked.

Several poll surveys have predicted that job creation could be a big issue in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Congress president Rahul Gandhi has several times directly attacked the Prime Minister claiming that his government was working for welfare of a select few while ignoring demands of jobs by the larger youth of the country. The most recent of his attacks came in his outreach program called ‘Apni Baat Rahul Ke Saath’, in which Rahul Gandhi said that the government was talking about growth without creating any employment and that it is "funding big guys" when small and medium entrepreneurs are the ones who can create jobs.

The Prime Minister, speaking in the second edition of News18 Network’s Rising India 2019 summit, said that more than 6 lakh professionals had joined the workforce in the last 4 years. It was natural, Modi added, that these professionals must have themselves created lakhs of jobs.

“Transport sector has seen a boom. 7.5 lakh cars have been sold in the last financial year. How are so many commercial cars being sold if there are no jobs? Taking the example of PM Mudra Yojana, more than 4 crore young individuals have applied for a loan for the first time for their business. Is it possible that so many people are taking loans without jobs?”

He added that between September 2017 and November 2019 more than 5 lakh people have been registered under EPFO. “Formal workforce has seen more than 10 lakh people joining every month. In the aviation sector, crores of people have made use of flights. This means that there are more people taking up jobs than before.”

In his address, Modi said that the fight between him and the opposition was a fight between “rashtrahit and rajneeti (national interests and politics).”

Several news outlets had reported on National Sample Survey Office’s periodic labour force survey (PLFS), according to which in 2017-18, the country’s unemployment rate stood at a 45-year high of 6.1%. News outlets reported that the last time unemployment was this high was in 1972-73.

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