India's unemployment rate hit a 45-year high of 6.1 percent in 2017, according to a report based on an official survey, which the government said was yet to be approved.
The National Sample Survey Office's (NSSO's) periodic labour force survey (PLFS), according to a
Business Standard report, states that unemployment was last this high in 1972-73.
To compare, the unemployment rate in the country had gone down to 2.2 percent in 2011-12, according to NSSO data.
Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar, who had previously mounted a defence of lowering of UPA-era GDP growth rates, at a press conference Thursday said the report cited by the newspaper "is not finalised. It is a draft report".
Refusing to comment on the content of the news report, he said the government will release its employment report by March after collating quarter-on-quarter data.
He also debunked claims of jobless growth, saying how can a country grow at an average of 7 percent without employment.
Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, who too was present at the conference, said India is creating adequate number of jobs for new entrants, but "probably we are not creating high quality jobs".
CNBC-TV18 spoke to Somesh Jha of
Business Standard who broke this story; Sudipto Mundle, former chairman, National Statistical Commission; Himanshu, professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University; Narendra Taneja, spokesperson, BJP; and Sanjay Jha, spokesperson, Congress, to discuss the NSSO's survey and Niti Aayog's statement.
Somesh Jha said, "When the report was in the draft stage it was put out for approval before two committees - one is the government standing committee and the other is NSC, which was supposed to approve it for release. Both these committees in the first week of December have given their approval."
“After the approval of NSC, there is no other approval required on the report and has to be released on the website of NSSO immediately or within a period of one week. So we cannot say that it is a draft report,” said Somesh Jha.
Taneja said the reports that came in the newspaper are not verified.
“It is the government’s job to make sure that correct data is verified,” he added.
Mundle said, “Due process is there and it was followed in this case and after that, there is professionally no other reason for anybody to hold back this reports. The exact procedure was followed.”