Consulted top economists including Raghuram Rajan on Minimum Income Guarantee Scheme: Rahul Gandhi
Economy, India

7% growth, but no jobs?: Raghuram Rajan questions PM Modi-led government

On Tuesday, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan expressed doubts over the Indian economy creating not enough jobs still growing at 7 per cent. Rajan said, he had no idea what statistics are pointing at currently and “a revamp” was needed “to really figure out what India’s true growth rate is.”

Former Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Rajan also suggested clearing the current cloud over the GDP numbers by appointing an impartial body to look at the data.

“I know one minister (in the Narendra Modi government) has said (that) how can we be growing at 7 per cent and not have jobs. Well, one possibility is that we are not growing at 7 per cent,” he told CNBC TV18 without disclosing the name of the minister.

Rajan continued, “I just think that we need now to essentially clean up, find out what in fact is the source of confusion with the new GDP numbers, with the revisions etc. I would say setting up an impartial body to look at it is an important step to resorting confidence.”

The impartial body may throwback the same numbers but “we absolutely need better confidence in our GDP numbers now given the back and forth we have had”.

“Lot of people have said the population dividend should not become a population curse. This is the time when we need to make sure that in fact doesn’t happen”

The NSSO labour survey reportedly put the unemployment rate in 2017 at a 45-year high which raised the questions against the government for not making the survey public.

The Indian statistics and the institutions associated with it have however come under a cloud for being influenced and indeed even controlled by political considerations, a group of 108 economists and social scientists said, earlier this month.

The group had said in a statement, “In fact, any statistics that cast an iota of doubt on the achievement of the government seem to get revised or suppressed on the basis of some questionable methodology.”

Jaitley had coined a new term to thrash opponents of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government by calling them, compulsive contrarians. Jaitley countered the group by saying 70 per cent of them were compulsive contrarians.

While promoting his new book ‘The Third Pillar’, Rajan said a broad-based growth that creates meaningful jobs for people was needed.

He said, “We need stronger broad-based growth, which primarily for most people means good jobs.

“What we need to do is focus on how do we create good jobs for the vast number of people who are leaving schools, who are leaving agriculture, who are leaving universities, in such a way that they can expand India’s growth.”

“Lot of people have said the population dividend should not become a population curse. This is the time when we need to make sure that in fact doesn’t happen,” he added.

“Enough time has now passed by for us to look back at demonetisation and ask what the learning has been from it? Did it work or not? And what were the positives and negatives… Self-examination is something that every government must do for better governance and efficiency,” the renowned economist was quoted as saying by NDTV.

On the question of lack of jobs, indicated by the data of the NSSO (National Sample Survey Office) recently, he said, “Given that kind of anxiety, it is important, just to convey to the world, that we are not manipulating anything… this is our data, to actually have an independent group look into it and certify that our data indeed is fine or suggest the changes needed.”

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