The government will release the Labour Bureau’s survey on the number of jobs generated under the Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency (Mudra) scheme only after the Lok Sabha elections, The Indian Express reported on Thursday. The multi-phase elections will start on April 11, with the counting of votes scheduled for May 23.
The Prime Minister Mudra Loan Yojana, the government’s flagship job creation programme, helps small businesses get credit of Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh from private and public sector banks, micro-finance institutions and other lending institutions.
This will be the third government report on employment not to be released before the polls. The government has not made public the National Sample Survey Office’s periodic Labour Force Survey Report for 2017-’18, which found the unemployment rate in India at a 45-year high of 6.1% in 2017-’18. The government has reportedly also failed to release the Labour Bureau’s sixth annual employment-unemployment survey, which showed that unemployment touched a four-year high of 3.9% in in 2016-’17.
Quoting unidentified officials, the newspaper reported that an expert committee had found irregularities in the methodology employed by the Labour Bureau. “The number of jobs created under the Mudra scheme will be released after the polls as the Expert Committee found anomalies in the methodology used by the bureau in arriving at the findings,” officials said, adding that an informal decision was taken to not make the report public since the Model Code of Conduct is in place.
The code of conduct came into effect on March 10 after the Election Commission announced the poll schedule.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government in February had decided to use findings of the Labour Bureau’s Mudra survey, which covers 1 lakh Mudra beneficiaries who availed of the loan scheme between April 2015 and January 31, 2019.
At a meeting on March 8, the expert committee directed the bureau to “reconcile some errors” in the report. The bureau has asked for two more months to work on the errors. The Union labour minister is yet to approve the committee’s deliberations.