How many jobs were created out of 2 cr promised per year, asks Chidamabaram

New Delhi: Congress leader and former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday asked the government to reveal many jobs were created against its promise of two crore jobs in a year.

He also mocked the government over its stock “no data available” response to the opposition’s questions.

Initiating the debate on the Union Budget 2022-23 in the Rajya Sabha, Chidambaram said that there was no purpose in looking at this government’s proposals and rather, he wanted to look at the outcome budget. “The government promised two crore jobs a year, they should report to us, how many jobs were created?” he asked.

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“The budget speech had only one part about job creation… which comes to about 12 lakh jobs a year. The annual addition to the labour force is 47.5 lakh. What will the rest do? And the answer is very simple; they will fry and sell pakodas,” he quipped.

Chidambaram said that as on March 31, last year, there were more than 8 eight lakh vacancies in the government but only 78,264 persons were employed.

“The best thing I like about the Finance Minister’s speech was it was her shortest budget speech,” he said.

Responding to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attack on the Congress in the Lok Sabha on Monday, he said: “I am a member of the ‘tukde-tukde’ gang, and I am not worried because a question was asked in Parliament who are the members of this gang and the minister said there was no data.”

“The government has no data on tukde-tukde gang, deaths due to oxygen shortage, on the bodies flowing in rivers, on how many migrants walked to their home on foot and other wise,” he said sarcastically.

Referring to the allocation in the budget, the former Finance Minister said that on capital expenditure in 2021-22, the estimates projected Rs 5,54,236 crore while the revised estimate came as a pleasant surprise which was Rs 6,02,711 crore. This includes an one time debt payment for Air India which cannot be said to be capital expenditure but it was repayment to the banks, he added.

He also claimed that India’s economy has not yet recovered to the level of pre-pandemic years and millions of the jobs have been lost, over 60 lakh micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have closed down, per capita income and expenditure has declined, and there was huge learning loss among school children, especially in rural areas.

Chidambaram also said that India’s rank in Global Hunger Index has fallen to 101 and there is flight of talent from India too.

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