Bareilly: Three months after the Union government’s report said that India’s unemployment is at a four-decade high, Union Minister Santosh Gangwar insists that there is no job crisis.
Far from acknowledging the malaise, the minister tried to deflect attention from the troubled economy by giving a queer explanation why graduates are not getting absorbed. He claimed that job seekers are not good enough for the posts that are up for grabs.
Stretching the argument further the minister gave a silly analogy that this was specially a problem in North India, where the youth were clearly ill-equipped.
He said he gathered this from companies that scout for recruits in the region; it was their understanding that the youth in the North were ineligible for most jobs that were on offer.
The statement comes on the heels of reports of massive lay-offs in the auto sector amid falling sales and accumulating inventory. His statement also comes at a time when the economy has slumped to a six-year low of 5 per cent in April to June quarter.
The Minister further claimed that he was talking as an authoritative person who presides over the labour ministry. ‘The issue of employment keeps figuring in newspapers.
I am handling the ministry for labour and employment and examine the issue daily. I have understood the problem," he said. More than anything, the statement seemed to make a mockery of the government’s flagship Skill India and Mudra programme.
Political observers were more charitable and said the government was surely seized of the employment issue but it has not been able to put out the right message with different ministers coming out with juvenile statements.
Congress leader Pramod Tiwari lost no time in seeking an apology from the Modi government. "On one hand, people are losing jobs and, on the other, new jobs are not being created.
Instead of addressing the issues, the minister tars all the youth with one brush and accuses them of being incompetent,’’ Tiwari said. Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra accused Gangwar of insulting north Indians by advancing his queer logic.
"Mr Minister, it has been more than five years. There is no job creation. Whatever jobs were there, they have been snuffed out by the economic slowdown inflicted by the government.
You want to escape flak by insulting North Indians," said the Congress leader in her tweet. The youths are looking towards the government hoping that it will do something good for them, she added.