Congress says ‘unemployment, stagnant wages’ define Modi govt

Congress leader Jairam Rmaesh said Modi government’s “economic mismanagement and incompetence” resulted in rural India’s economic distress….reports Asian Lite News

Coming down heavily on the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre over new data regarding MGNREGA, Congress leader Jairam Thakur said that unemployment and stagnant wages are the “defining features” of the last 10 years.

Terming the decade-old BJP rule as “Dus Saal Anyay Kaal”, the Congress MP said that government data on Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) demand shows that rural India is still reeling from economic distress, as a result of government’s “economic mismanagement and incompetence.”

“Unemployment and stagnant wages are defining features of the Modi Sarkar’s Dus Saal Anyay Kaal. Data on demand for MGNREGA person days in the last Financial Year released by the Government itself shows that rural India is still reeling from economic distress, as a result of economic mismanagement and incompetence. Our statement on the Government’s latest data on rural demand for MGNREGA,” Ramesh posted on X.

The Congress General Secretary in-charge Communications said that the scheme of MGNREGA was designed by the UPA government to be a ‘safety net’ for the rural poor and being a demand-driven scheme, generates employment only when there is no alternative paying better wages.

Citing the data, he said that poor rural families have demanded 305 crore person-days of work under MGNREGA in 2023-24, which is an additional 40 crore person-days as compared to the pre-pandemic era.

Citing International Labour Organisation’s recent ‘India Employment Report’, Ramesh stated that “India adds around 70-80 lakh youths to the labour force, but between 2012 and 2019, there was almost zero growth in employment – just 0.01 per cent!”

“The same report showed that real wages of regular workers remained stagnant or declined between 2012 and 2022. Inflation has been uncontrolled, and workers can now afford less than they could 10 years ago,” he added.

Citing Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) data from 2022-23, he said that “nearly 12 crore workers in India earn less than Rs 100 a day (nominal).”

The Congress leader added that farm output, which contributes about 15 per cent of GDP and employs more than 40 per cent of the workforce, has slowed to 1.8 per cent in FY23, from 4 per cent in FY22.

He further stated that tractor sales have declined 4 per cent in financial year 2024 and two-wheeler sales were also 22 per cent lower in 2022-23 than in 2017-18.

Referring to Prime Minister Modi’s remarks from 2015, he said that while he was calling the scheme a failure, his government had to rely on MGNREGA as the primary source of income support.

“In February 2015, soon after coming to office, the PM remarked in Parliament that the MGNREGA is a “living monument” to the INC’s failures. The Modi Sarkar then had to rely on MGNREGA as the primary source of income support during the COVID-19 pandemic – and continues to do so today,” he stated.

“The increase in MGNREGA person-days last year is in fact a “living monument” to the Modi Sarkar’s many failures,” Jairam Ramesh added. (ANI)

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