Revalidate signal to labour bureau on Mudra job creation data -Basant Kumar Mohanty

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published Published on Apr 5, 2019   modified Modified on Apr 5, 2019
-The Telegraph

Only 1.12 crore jobs created in three years under the Mudra scheme, the bureau's data suggested

New Delhi: A central government agency has been asked to “revalidate” data which estimated that only 1.12 crore additional jobs were created in three years under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, a scheme Prime Minister Narendra Modi cites to defend his record on employment generation, sources have told The Telegraph.

Several independent analysts suspect that the Centre is reluctant to release the data without a re-look because the initial estimate does not match its expectations.

As on February 1, nearly 15.73 crore loans had been extended under the scheme, the total amount coming to Rs 7.59 lakh crore.

Against such disbursals, the initial estimate of 1.12 crore additional jobs does fall below expectations, one analyst suggested, adding that many casual workers might have taken the loans without adding any jobs.

Mudra, an acronym for Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Ltd, is a non-banking finance company that aids the development of micro-enterprises by providing refinance support to banks and micro-finance institutions that lend money to them.

The loans are given to support new as well as existing income-generating activities, thereby helping increase household incomes. The loan amount can go up to Rs 10 lakh but many beneficiaries are said to have taken Rs 50,000 apiece. The Modi government advertises the scheme as a means to raise employment opportunities.

Modi, who has been focusing on national security on the campaign trail, had cited Mudra in an interview with Republic TV last week and suggested that at least 4 crore people had taken money for the first time and “they must have started some employment, they must have employed somebody”.

If the figure of 4 crore new loans is correct and the revalidated data fall below that, it would suggest that some of those who took the loans might already have been employed elsewhere. In any case, when nearly 16 crore loans had been disbursed, the additional job generation should ideally have been more than 1.12 crore.

The release of the official data would have cleared the air on the matter.

The initial estimate of 1.12 crore additional jobs through Mudra was thrown up when the Chandigarh-based Labour Bureau, a government agency, collected data through a nationwide sample survey covering 96,000 respondents.

The Labour Bureau was mandated to survey Mudra beneficiaries to find out the employment generated as a consequence of their entrepreneurial activities. The nine-month fieldwork ended in January.

But last week, an expert committee headed by principal labour and employment adviser B.N. Nanda asked the Labour Bureau to do the revalidation, three official sources have told this newspaper. The panel wanted the revalidation to be carried out “quickly” but did not set a deadline, the sources added.

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The Telegraph, 4 April, 2019,

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