Jobs, EPFO & False Data

Jobs, EPFO & False Data Sat, 07 Jul 2018

Jobs, EPFO & False Data

PM Modi has found himself tied up in his web of lies. In a recent interview with Swarajya Magazine, he claimed, “more than 41 lakh formal jobs were created from September 2017 to April 2018 based on Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) payroll data”, he further went on to say that the EPFO survey states that more than 70 lakh jobs were created in the formal sector in 2017. Unfortunately for the PM, the EPFO has now clearly stated that the data is raw and does not provide a clear explanation on creation of livelihood.

In his interview the PM claimed that creation of formal jobs has also led to the creation of informal jobs, therefore the false accusations of jobless growth from the opposition were baseless. The Modi government has always evaded the question of providing accurate data on jobs created. New EPF accounts do not mean new employment. Growth in EPFO enrolments largely reflect the conversion of hitherto informally employed people into formal employment but this should not be confused as new employment. Both demonetisation and GST resulted in forced formalisation in which a large number of jobs were lost which is not reflected in this data. For example, if out of five informal workers, one became formalised and got access to EPF and other four lost their jobs, only the former is reflected in EPFO data.

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Revised data from EPFO for the same period cited by PM Modi, shows the numbers are in reality 12.5% lower. Hence, either the PM is completely ignorant or he’s blatantly lying - his track record makes the latter more likely.

The PM also spoke about the “successful” MUDRA Loans programme. He claims the loans given out have helped individuals improve their own livelihoods as well as employ others. However, the reality is completely different. Large loans - over Rs 5 Lakhs - issued, only constitute 1.3% of the total loans disbursed. Loans worth Rs 2,53,677.10 crore issued to 4.81 crore beneficiaries given in 2017-18, which translates into an average loan size of Rs 52,700. Renowned labour economist, Santosh Kumar Mehrotra has said, “an average loan size of a little more than Rs 50,000, an individual cannot support himself with this measly amount, let alone employ others.”

The BJP govt. has time & again provided false data on employment in order to defend the abysmal unemployment rate under its rule. The fact is, unemployment is on the rise and millions of young Indians are left jobless without any hope of govt. help. It’s time PM Modi & his government stop playing politics and campaigning for elections and start working for the people of India - if not, the voters will not hesitate to oust them.

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