New Delhi, March 13 : The Congress on Wednesday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi the "biggest destroyer of jobs", pointing to an unemployment rate which, it said, is at a 45 year low.
Addressing a press conference here, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala cited data from a number of sources, including the government's National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) and raised the issue of joblessness among youth, which it said, has risen over the last five years of Modi rule.
"Jobs are the single biggest crisis facing India's youth. As per a Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) survey, unemployment rate has touched 7.2 per cent.
As per the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report, unemployment rate is at 6.1 per cent.
"Unemployment rate for the youth is at an alarming high level of 13-27 per cent. This is the highest in last 45 years. Modinomics has become synonymous with pakodanomics in this country. Narendra Modi is the single biggest destroyer of jobs, hopes, and future of India's youth," Surjewala said.
He said that the "disaster of demonetisation" alone cost the country 1.5 crore jobs and plunged the GDP down by 2 per cent, costing small and medium businesses as much as Rs 3 lakh crore.
"According to CMIE, India lost 1.1 crore jobs in 2018 alone.
Loss in rural India was even bigger. An estimated 91 lakh jobs were lost in rural India while the loss in urban India was 18 lakh jobs. What is shocking is of the 91 lakh, 88 lakh jobs were lost by women in the last year.
"Rural India accounts for two-thirds of India's population, but it accounted for 84 per cent of the job losses," he said.
To lend more credence to his case, he pointed out several instances where a disproportionately high number of well-educated candidates sent their applications for low-level government jobs like those of peons or constables.
"Looming job crisis reflecting unprecedented and desperate unemployment in the country can be gauged from the fact that for 90,000 railways jobs, 2.8 crore people, including many Ph.D.
holders, sent their applications... In Uttar Pradesh, 23,00,000 youth applied for 386 posts of peons," Surjewala said.
He also tore into the Central government's flagship scheme, the Prime Minister Mudra Loan scheme, saying that the average amount loaned under the scheme wasn't enough to set up a "pakoda stall".
"Modi government exudes the virtues of Mudra loan, but fails to tell the country that the average amount for 90 per cent of these loans is a meagre Rs 23,000.
This is not enough to set up a Pakoda or a pan shop," he said.