‘No major protest’: Arun Jaitley questions unemployment data

New Delhi: Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday rejected claims about high unemployment in India as “disinformation” and said it would be “economic absurdity” to believe that jobs are not being created at a time when the country is witnessing high economic growth.

“If there is no job creation, as alleged, there should have logically been a great social unrest in the country,” he said in a Facebook post. “Past five years have passed off without a single major protest movement.”

Jaitley said the Gross Domestic Product has grown at an average of 7.5% in the last five years. “If the inflation figure is added to this, the nominal growth, on an average will be between 11.5 to 12%,” he said. “Is it possible to conceive that such high nominal growth despite controlled inflation will not lead to any job creation?”

A report in Business Standard on Thursday claimed that the study that pointed out the high levels of unemployment in 2017-’18 – the first full financial year after demonetisation – was buried by the government. Two independent members of the National Statistical Commission, which prepared the study, resigned earlier this week, reportedly in protest against the government for not publishing it.

Jaitley who is currently in New York and could not be present the Interim Budget because of his indisposition, also defended the budgetary provision of Rs 6,000 for each marginal farmer which has been mocked by the Opposition as meagre amount, saying it is meant to be an “additional support” to the agriculturists.

In an interview to ANI, he underlined that the Narendra Modi government had efficiently maintained the fiscal discipline as the fiscal deficit and Current Account Deficit (CAD) have been contained and inflation has been reduced drastically while GDP kept growing.