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Modi government says India lost less than 400 industrial jobs in 2018

Nothing to worry.
  • Niharika Sharma
By Niharika Sharma


Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Never mind the spate of bad news on the jobs front, India’s official numbers don’t indicate any cause for alarm.

In 2018, for instance, a mere 386 jobs were lost in the country (pdf) due to closure of industries, according to the minister of state for labour and employment, Santosh Gangwar. Yesterday (July 22), he tabled in parliament the provisional numbers of labourers who reportedly lost their jobs following industries closing down.

“Labour bureau brings out statistics on ‘industrial disputes, closures, retrenchments and lay-offs in India’ based on the voluntary returns received every month from the labour departments of the states and the regional labour commissioner (central),” Gangwar said in a reply to a question in the lower house of the parliament, the Lok Sabha.

He listed out statistics from 2016 to July 1, 2019. However, the numbers for West Bengal were not released.

The numbers below reflect how many workers were affected due to the factory closures across industries, as per the government’s estimate.

States / Union territories2016201720182019
AssamNil109Not reportedNot reported
HaryanaNil145NilPartially received
Himachal Pradesh204Nil13Not reported
KeralaNil5NilPartially received
Madhya PradeshNot reportedNot reportedNot reportedNot reported
Madhya Pradesh(Nil)(547)(Nil)(Nil)
Orissa943NilNilPartially received
Tripura56629Not reportedNot reported
TelanganaNil1003226Not reported
Uttar Pradesh345234Not reportedNot reported
West BengalNot reportedNot reportedNot reportedNot reported
MaharashtraNil5121Not reported
RajasthanNilNil118Partially received
Total state sphere2,0791,764386
Total central sphere(Nil)(976)(Nil)(Nil)
Grand total2,0792,740386
Note (a): Numbers in bracket denote central sphere
Note (b): The information in respect of remaining states/union territories is either “nil” or “not reported.”
Source: Labour Bureau, Shimla

Gangwar also informed the house that technology automation has not replaced workers but improved productivity, refuting the allegations that increasing level of automation will result in job losses in the country.

“The technology automation has not replaced workers, but improved productivity and provided workers the time to focus on other tasks involving complex decision making and social interactions,” he said.

The problem of unemployment

Amidst concerns in various quarters about reports on rising unemployment, the labour minister asserted that employment generation is the priority of the government.

“Government has taken various steps for generating employment in the country like encouraging private sector of economy, fast tracking various projects involving substantial investment and increasing public expenditure on schemes such as Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY), and Deendayal Antodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM),” he said in a reply to a question pertaining to the data on unemployed youth in the country.

Earlier in May, the data from the labour ministry confirmed that the unemployment rate in the country was at a 45-year high. This was first reported by the Business Standard newspaper in February. Officials had then rejected the daily’s claim saying the figures had not been finalised.

Data released by the ministry of statistics and programme implementation in May showed that 7.8% of all employable urban youth are jobless, while the share in rural areas was 5.35%. Overall, joblessness among Indian men stood at 6.2%, and 5.7% among women.

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