New Delhi: Calling the opposition claims on rising unemployment a "political gimmick", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that over 70 lakh jobs were created in the formal sector alone in the last one year.
Based on Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) data, more than 45 lakh formal jobs were created between September 2017 to April 2018, Modi said in an email interview with Times of India published on Sunday.
"According to our study based on the EPFO data, more than 70 lakh jobs were created in the formal sector alone last year."
Attacking the opposition, he said that rather than the so-called failure of this government to create jobs, "I believe the shortcoming lies in the absence or lack of a streamlined database of jobs.
"Naturally, in the absence of information, our opponents will exploit this situation and blame us for not creating jobs".
Modi also called the opposition's claim of rising unemployment a "propaganda".
"If you look at claims made by the state governments -- Bengal says it created 68 lakh jobs and the previous Karnataka government claimed it created 53 lakh jobs -- are we saying that all the country's jobs are being created in some states and that other states and the country as a whole are not creating jobs? This propaganda on jobs by the opposition is nothing but a political gimmick," he said.
Modi said that informal sector accounts for around 80 per cent of all jobs and creation of jobs in the formal sector has a spin-off effect on job creation in the informal sector.
"There are close to three lakh village-level entrepreneurs who run common service centres across the country and create employment. More than 12 crore loans have been given under MUDRA Scheme," he said.
Modi said that in the last four years there has been massive construction activities like roads, railways or housing -- all these generate jobs.
"All reports, whether national or international, show that poverty in India is on the decline. Can we think of such a possibility without people having jobs?" he asked.
Asserting that tourism provides maximum employment, Modi said that the country's tourism sector has been growing rapidly with foreign tourist arrivals in India in 2017 registering a growth of 14 per cent over 2016.
Airlines are adding new aircraft on a monthly basis and the number of mobile manufacturing units in this country increased to close to 120, he claimed.
"These alone have generated 4.5 lakh direct and indirect jobs," he said.