Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation destroyed the informal sector and 50 lakh people, most them from the vulnerable sections of the society, lost their jobs due to the widely criticised move, according to the ‘State of Working India 2019’ report released by the Centre for Sustainable Employment (CSE), Azim Premji University, Bengaluru on Tuesday.
"This is a net figure and therefore, whatever jobs may have been added elsewhere, there have been enough jobs lost, on balance five million less work opportunities were there, so that is not a good thing for the economy. Particularly given that we have been seeing what appears to be a strong GDP growth," the Huffington Post quoted Amit Basole, lead author of the report, as saying.
The report stated that the job losses started around the time PM Modi announced his sudden and shocking move to ban high-value notes on November 8. However, it added that it could not establish a "causal relationship" based on the data. "Apart from demonetisation and GST, as far as informal economy is concerned, I don’t see any other reasons," Basole, who heads the CSE, said.
The latest report on jobs in India came after the Business Standard claimed that the Narendra Modi government suppressed an NSSO report. According to the report hidden by the government, the business daily claimed, the unemployment rate in the country was at a 45-year high in 2017-18.
At the time of announcement of demonetisation, Modi had claimed that the move will wipe out black money and counterfeit currency from India’s economy. However, his government changed the goal post and said that the move was to promote the digitalisation. A Reserve Bank of India report suggested the move was a complete failure as 99 per cent of the banned notes returned to the banks.
During the campaigning in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, Modi and his party leaders have also been avoiding to mention the 2 crore jobs per year promise made in 2014. The report by the Azim Premji University has once again embarrassed the Modi government, which despite the RBI data, claims that demonetisation was a success.