Chidambaram said, 'A 'job' is certain, regular and reasonably secure. We want to know how many such jobs have been created.'
New Delhi: Congress leader P Chidambaram on Sunday took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remarks that selling 'pakodas' was a kind of employment, and claimed that India was actually witnessing "a jobless growth".
In a series of tweets, Chidambaram said the Modi dispensation was "clueless" on how to create jobs and cautioned people against an "assault on our commonsense by wild claims of job creation by the government".
"Even selling pakodas is a 'job' said PM. By that logic, even begging is a job. Let's count poor or disabled persons who are forced to beg for a living as 'employed' people... The truth is India is witnessing a three year spell of modest, but jobless, growth and the government is clueless about how to create jobs," he said.
Modi, in a recent interview to a television channel, reportedly said, "If a person selling pakodas (snacks) earns Rs 200 at the end of the day, will it be considered employment or not?"
Chidambaram, a former finance minister, said the claim of 70 lakh new jobs in 2017-18 had been punctured by two scholars and there were reports that the number of contributing members in Provident Fund declined from 462 lakh in July 2017 to 438 lakh in September 2017.
He said in the debate on jobs, it was important to keep the distinction between 'job' and 'self-employment'.
"A 'job' is certain, regular and reasonably secure. We want to know how many such jobs have been created," he asked.
Chidambaram said earlier it was claimed that a 'Mudra' loan of Rs 43,000 (average loan size) created at least one new job.
"Show me one person who can 'create' a new job out of Rs 43,000 investment," he said.
The senior Congress leader said, "Another minister wanted MGNREGA workers to be counted as holding jobs. So they are 'job' holders for 100 days and jobless for 265 days!...Real job creation will be reflected by robust increase in private investment, private consumption, exports and credit demand. Not happening yet," he said.