Amid a row over a not-yet-published NSSO survey on India’s unemployment, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar on Thursday said that the government did not release the report because the data is still being processed.
He also said that the report published on Thursday saying India’s unemployment rate rose to a 45-year high in 2017-18 is “not verified”. Kumar called it a draft report and said that the data is still being processed.
Kumar was referring to Business Standard’s exclusive report which was based on an NSSO report which the government allegedly didn’t want to publish as the numbers would embarrass it. The last two non-government members of the National Statistical Commission (NSC) had resigned earlier this week, partly because of the government’s refusal to release the report.
Kumar said that the data will be released when it’s ready and hinted that it may be out by March.
However, if this is true, it is not clear why the government is taking so long to process the data—the Business Standard report was based on the first annual household survey of the NSSO, conducted for the period July 2017-June 2018.
Earlier on Thursday, Himanshu, associate professor at JNU, had told HuffPost India that the government’s argument that the report was not ready was “misleading”.
Kumar also said that the Indian economy has been growing at 7% in real terms. “There must be some source of this growth.”
Kumar also said that there is evidence to prove that jobs have been created.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant also said that the government is creating enough jobs for new entrants.
“You cannot be growing at 7.2% and say there are no jobs being created. To my mind, the major problem is that there is lack of quality jobs,” Kant added.
He claimed that, according to a NITI Aayog analysis, 7-7.5 million jobs are being created but did not specify what time period this was for.