Former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram has slapped the present BJP government for claiming to create 70 lakh new jobs in 2017-2018. In a series of tweets, Chidambaram has stated how he thinks that the government is trying to fool the people by making outrageous statements and ‘calls the bluff’ of Prime Minister Modi’s government.
He asks us to be “prepared” for the “assault” on our common sense by the “wild claims of job creation by the government.”
Chidambaram referred to a report by academics Prof Pulak Ghosh and Dr Soumya Kanti. Ghosh and Kanti’s report claims that enrollment under the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) or Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) or National Pension Scheme (NPS) or Government Provident Fund (GPF) meant that those employees were employed. The payroll number in Ghosh and Kanti’s report claimed that there was a payroll stock of 919 lakh. Furthermore, the report claimed that the government will be able to generate 70 lakh new jobs in 2017-2018, which is 7.5% of the present stock. This report was later disproved by academics Mr Jairam Ramesh and Mr Praveen Chakravarty.
Chidambaram took a jibe at Prime Miniter Narendra Modi’s recent statement in a TV interview where he asks rhetorically, “If a person sells 'pakodas' and takes home Rs 200 every evening, will it be considered employment or not?” He said, according to that logic, even begging will be considered as a job.
Chidambaram said another minister (possible referring to a BJP minister), wanted MGNREGA workers to be counted as job-holders. Therefore, the Congress leader says that they should be counted as job-holders for 100 days and jobless for 265 days. The aim of MGNREGA was "to enhance the livelihood security of people in rural areas by guaranteeing hundred days of wage employment in a financial year to a rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work
Chidambaram stated that the current job market was facing a slow growth and suggested private investment, private consumption, exports and credit demand for a better job market.
He concluded by saying that the present government is clueless about how to create jobs.