Data-Manufacturing to Hoodwink the Public

Archana Prasad

THE latest product manufactured by the union government as a part of its Make in India campaign is the project of manufacturing data on the growth of jobs and enterprises. The trend was started by the prime minister himself in his much publicised interview in the Swarajya magazine. So what were the falsehoods perpetrated by Modi? First, it was said that 41 lakh formal jobs have been created between September 2017 and April 2018. The data source for this figure was apparently the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (which does not give data on number of jobs, but only on number of subscribers to the scheme). Second he claimed that about 12 crore people have received loans from the MUDRA scheme, and this would have created at least 12 crore self employed people. Both these are based on a misinterpretation of data which helps the government to counter criticism of jobless growth in the context of the upcoming general elections of 2019.

JOB DESTRUCTION OR JOB CREATION?

One of Modi’s central claims in the Swarajya interview was that jobs have been created but not counted. Though problems with labour and employment statistics have been pointed out by several experts over the years, these problems do not render existing databases as irrelevant. The ILO-RBI KLEMS data on the productivity and input costs in 27 sectors of the economy points to the following trend:

KLEMS Industry Description

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

Agriculture,Hunting,Forestry and Fishing

1.51%

-1.22%

-2.10%

-2.06%

-2.03%

-1.99%

-1.96%

-1.92%

-3.47%

-0.21%

-3.50%

-3.62%

Mining and Quarrying

0.18%

-0.23%

-0.39%

-0.35%

-0.31%

-0.26%

-0.22%

-0.17%

-1.69%

1.58%

-1.69%

-1.80%

Food Products,Beverages and Tobacco

0.00%

1.04%

1.41%

1.43%

1.46%

1.48%

1.51%

1.53%

-0.02%

3.23%

-0.07%

-0.20%

Textiles, Textile Products, Leather and Footwear

6.08%

0.21%

-1.37%

-1.70%

-0.72%

-3.18%

1.17%

-1.76%

-2.79%

0.82%

-2.54%

-2.31%

Wood and Products of wood

2.94%

-2.65%

-4.50%

-4.46%

-4.41%

-4.37%

-4.34%

-4.30%

-5.92%

-2.66%

-5.94%

-6.06%

Pulp, Paper,Paper products,Printing and Publishing

5.39%

0.55%

-1.05%

-1.00%

-0.94%

-0.89%

-0.83%

-0.77%

-2.27%

1.02%

-2.23%

-2.31%

Coke, Refined Petroleum Products and Nuclear fuel

6.80%

6.82%

5.31%

17.48%

3.67%

7.59%

-7.09%

-4.12%

-1.51%

1.72%

-1.60%

-1.76%

Chemicals and  Chemical Products

2.99%

-0.50%

-1.28%

-0.85%

-0.43%

-0.04%

0.32%

0.66%

-0.60%

2.91%

-0.15%

-0.08%

Rubber and Plastic Products

2.21%

4.60%

5.10%

5.17%

5.25%

5.33%

5.41%

5.49%

3.85%

7.16%

3.92%

3.85%

Other Non-Metallic Mineral Products

5.41%

2.27%

1.32%

1.43%

1.53%

1.63%

1.73%

1.82%

0.32%

3.63%

0.38%

0.29%

Basic Metals and Fabricated Metal Products

1.57%

2.33%

2.63%

2.69%

2.76%

2.84%

2.93%

3.03%

1.52%

4.87%

1.69%

1.69%

Machinery, nec.

2.45%

3.67%

4.20%

4.35%

4.48%

4.61%

4.73%

4.85%

3.29%

6.64%

3.46%

3.46%

Electrical and Optical Equipment

2.30%

8.46%

6.60%

11.34%

3.43%

24.61%

-7.01%

15.83%

10.27%

12.23%

10.06%

9.14%

Transport Equipment

-0.47%

-1.78%

15.00%

3.36%

8.82%

14.90%

14.68%

9.66%

-3.73%

2.88%

-0.45%

-0.61%

Manufacturing, nec; recycling

7.43%

4.71%

3.82%

3.84%

3.87%

3.89%

3.92%

3.94%

2.33%

5.58%

2.28%

2.15%

Electricity, Gas and Water Supply

-4.56%

-1.32%

-2.25%

1.11%

-6.27%

5.90%

0.11%

0.00%

1.69%

4.97%

1.72%

1.63%

Construction

8.12%

8.65%

8.94%

9.10%

9.26%

9.42%

9.59%

9.76%

7.91%

11.31%

8.15%

8.17%

Trade

3.79%

1.92%

1.28%

1.30%

1.31%

1.32%

1.34%

1.35%

-0.21%

3.04%

-0.27%

-0.41%

Hotels and Restaurants

5.80%

4.36%

3.91%

3.95%

3.99%

4.02%

4.06%

4.09%

2.47%

5.73%

2.43%

2.30%

Transport and Storage

4.44%

2.94%

2.43%

2.44%

2.44%

2.44%

2.44%

2.44%

0.85%

4.08%

0.76%

0.60%

Post and Telecommunication

9.27%

0.81%

-1.96%

-1.84%

-1.72%

-1.62%

-1.52%

-1.43%

-2.92%

0.39%

-2.86%

-2.95%

Financial Services

6.72%

5.72%

5.38%

5.39%

5.40%

5.40%

5.41%

5.42%

3.72%

6.95%

3.64%

3.49%

Business Service

10.56%

9.34%

8.95%

8.98%

9.01%

9.05%

9.08%

9.11%

7.19%

10.45%

7.16%

7.03%

Public Administration and Defense; Compulsory Social Security

-2.68%

0.04%

-0.16%

-0.13%

-0.12%

0.06%

1.39%

2.27%

-2.54%

0.69%

-2.63%

-2.79%

Education

6.42%

3.96%

3.12%

3.12%

3.13%

3.13%

3.13%

3.13%

1.52%

4.74%

1.42%

1.27%

Health and Social Work

5.67%

3.82%

3.24%

3.29%

3.35%

3.40%

3.45%

3.49%

1.91%

5.18%

1.90%

1.79%

Other services

2.41%

3.13%

2.64%

2.81%

2.98%

3.15%

3.32%

3.49%

2.03%

5.43%

2.28%

2.30%

Total Economy

2.71%

0.68%

0.07%

0.23%

0.39%

0.61%

0.81%

1.02%

-0.51%

2.94%

-0.16%

-0.08%

 The table above maps the generation of employment across sectors from UPA 1 to the present and shows that Modi’s claim that he has revived jobs is false. The data shows that the Left supported first UPA regime saw no negative growth in employment generation. But as shown in the table above, this growth was concentrated in construction and the service sector, particularly finances, business services and ICT. This indicates policy driven uneven development where negative growth in primary and manufacturing sectors had already taken place. The second UPA government only accentuated this process with many more sectors showing jobless growth. But services continued to provide some new jobs, albeit in informal employment. The three years of the Modi government has shown that even this very tiny increase or virtually stagnation in the creation of jobs has stopped. Rather there has been a loss of around 10 lakh jobs in the first two years of the Modi regime. Hence the disassociation between job creation and so called economic growth (which is also showing a down trajectory under the present government) is almost complete under this regime.

THE MYTH OF THE MICRO ENTERPRISE

In the second part of his answers on job creation the prime minister stated that there has to be a different way of accounting of jobs in “New India”. As an example he contends that 12 crore new micro-enterprises have been created through MUDRA loans. Though this official figure may be correct, Modi has provided a convenient interpretation of the existing data without looking deeper into the issue. It is pertinent to point out that the average MUDRA loan for 90 percent of the borrowers went down from approximately Rs 24,000 to Rs 22,000 between 2015 and 2017. More than 60 percent of these loans were provided at high interest rates by non-banking finance companies and private commercial banks. Hence it appears that MUDRA has become a way of providing public subsidy to microfinance institutions and private banks, rather than sustainable livelihoods. Further the lack of statistics on the bad loans in MUDRA makes claims of its success pre-mature and vague. The important point to note in this regard is that in many cases borrowers go to the market to get additional loans at high interests, and end up with a failed business. Hence all the self-employment (if at all any) claimed by Modi is highly vulnerable and unsustainable in character.

The discussion above has only made a partial assessment of Modi’s spurious claims. But the data presented is enough to show that facts will not change even if the prime minister keeps repeating the falsehoods time and again and tries to fix the data in his favour. The exposure of these lies is an important tool in the hands of the working class, who are up in arms against the current authoritarian regime.

 

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