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Narendra Modi Accuses Congress of Cheating Farmers in Name of Loan Waivers

SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, union Minister Harsimrat Badal and the entire senior leadership of the SAD-BJP alliance was present at the rally, around 230 km from Chandigarh

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Mahathir, who governed Malaysia for more than two decades, became, at the age of 92,
Congress cheating farmers in name of loan waivers. Wikimedia

In a frontal attack on the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the Congress was cheating farmers in the country in the name of loan waivers.

“The Congress earlier cheated the country in the name of ‘garibi hatao’ for years and is now cheating farmers in the name of loan waivers,” Modi told a public rally of the BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) alliance in Gurdaspur town.

“The Congress is doing the politics of lies and cheating. It has done nothing for farmers. It is misleading farmers in the name of waiving farmer loans,” Modi said in his 35-minute address.

He said that in Karnataka, loans of farmers were not being waived and police were raiding their homes to arrest them, forcing the farmers to be on the run.

Referring to Punjab, Modi said the Congress promised to waive massive loans of farmers but that was far from truth.

“The truth is something else. As per their own documents and admission, only loans worth Rs 3,400 crore were waived in one and a half years.

“Is loan waiver a five-year plan for Congress? Will they (give loan waiver) after the farmer dies?”

Narendra-Modi
Narendra Modi.

Modi said that the central government was working hard to bring around development in rural India.

“We are working to doubling farmers’ income by 2022. We want to empower the farmers and make them self reliant,” he said.

Accusing the Congress of messing up on issues of national security, the Prime Minister said that the NDA government at the centre “is constantly working to make the country secure”.

“The Congress leadership has messed with national security. They are spreading lies for the benefit of one family,” he said, in an obvious reference to the Congress raking up irregularities and corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal.

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Modi accused the Congress leadership of not only shielding the leaders accused of killings of hundreds of innocent Sikhs in Delhi in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots but also rewarding them with Chief Ministership.

“Their history has been the massacre of innocent Sikhs. They have rewarded one accused with Chief Minister’s chair. The whole country wanted that Congress leaders should be punished for the killings of Sikhs in Delhi. Our government formed the SIT (special investigation team) and the result is before you all,” he pointed out.

SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, union Minister Harsimrat Badal and the entire senior leadership of the SAD-BJP alliance was present at the rally, around 230 km from Chandigarh. (IANS)

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Are There Enough Jobs In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Led India?

“More young people are entering the labor force, millions want to leave agriculture but can’t find construction work because construction activity has slowed down because the investment rate in the economy has slowed down.”

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VOA
Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party dismisses concerns about the job data saying it does not capture the real picture because it focuses only on the 15 percent of Indians who work in the formal economy. Pixabay

For people streaming in from rural areas around New Delhi, the first stop is a collection of busy city intersections where contractors select daily wage labor from the crowds of young and old waiting every morning to get work.

Many standing at these intersections say they get work for barely half the month. “I have the ability to work hard. I never turn down any work. But I would prefer to get a cleaner, permanent job,” says 29-year-old Tek Chand. “The problem is one day I have money to buy rations, the next day I don’t.” Like millions of others, he migrated from his village three years ago to seek work and a better life in the city.

FILE - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, arrives with his cabinet colleagues on the opening day of the budget session of the Indian Parliament, in New Delhi, Jan. 31, 2019.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, arrives with his cabinet colleagues on the opening day of the budget session of the Indian Parliament, in New Delhi, Jan. 31, 2019. VOA
As India prepares for general elections on April 11, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being attacked by opposition parties for failing to make good on a promise he made in 2014 to create millions of jobs for India’s huge young population. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party rebuts that criticism and says India is generating new opportunities as it becomes one of the world’s fastest growing major economies.

Job creation is a massive challenge for a nation with one of the world’s youngest populations — half the country’s 1.3 billion people are under the age of 25.

Recent data shows that joblessness has soared to record high levels. Opposition parties have made joblessness one of their principal election planks and have accused the prime minister of failing the estimated 8 to 10 million young people who enter the workforce every year.

The independent Mumbai-based Center for Monitoring Indian Economy estimates that unemployment reached 7.2 percent last month and that 11 million jobs were lost in 2018. With a working population of 500 million, that translates into more than 30 million people waiting for jobs. An unpublished official survey that showed unemployment at a 45-year-high has also been widely quoted by Indian media.

India's main opposition Congress party President Rahul Gandhi speaks during a public meeting at Adalaj in Gandhinagar, India, March 12, 2019.
India’s main opposition Congress party President Rahul Gandhi speaks during a public meeting at Adalaj in Gandhinagar, India, March 12, 2019. VOA

On the campaign trail, the head of the main opposition Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi, who is seen as Modi’s principal challenger, talks repeatedly about a “jobs crisis.”

“Our government is refusing to accept that we have a massive crisis and potential disaster in front of us,” Gandhi told a group of university students in New Delhi recently, many who will be first time voters.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party dismisses concerns about the job data saying it does not capture the real picture because it focuses only on the 15 percent of Indians who work in the formal economy. It points to a recent industry report that jobs have been created in the medium and small sectors.

The BJP says millions of people have found work in the transport and infrastructure sectors or as delivery boys in booming online businesses as India becomes one of the world’s fastest growing major economies. They point out that the issue is not jobs but livelihoods, and point to millions of people who are not counted in job data.

They are self-employed people like cab owner Chain Pal Singh. As the app based taxi business boomed, Singh’s friend, who operated a cab, persuaded him to quit his job and take out a loan to buy a car. His decision has paid off — in four years he has earned enough money to invest in two more cabs.

Singh says he is much better off than when he held a job. “I used to earn about $225 dollars a month. Now in some months I can earn almost double that amount. Its beneficial for me.”

Following defeats in key state elections in December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told parliament last month, “This truth has to be acknowledged. The unorganized sector has 80 to 85 percent of the employment.” He pointed to millions of commercial vehicles sold in recent years and questioned if they had not generated jobs for drivers.

Economists admit India’s large informal sector has made it difficult to calculate employment, but they say joblessness or underemployment remains the country’s biggest challenge. While scarcity of jobs is not a new problem, two disruptive economic steps in the last two years exacerbated the problem.

In 2016 a sweeping currency ban meant to tackle the problem of illegal cash, dried up jobs as it created huge currency shortages, particularly in small businesses and in the countryside. A poorly-implemented tax reform known as the Goods and Services Tax a few months later was another blow to businesses.

Meanwhile, Modi’s “Made in India” campaign, which aimed at making India a manufacturing hub like China, has made a slow start and sluggish labor-intensive sectors cannot cater to growing numbers of job seekers.

“We can’t keep patting ourselves on the back that we are the fastest growing economy specially if all these other indicators are not growing at a rate that will absorb the growing labor force,” says Santosh Mehrotra, a human development economist at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

“More young people are entering the labor force, millions want to leave agriculture but can’t find construction work because construction activity has slowed down because the investment rate in the economy has slowed down.”

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He points out that exports, another sector that created a number of jobs has also not been performing well.

As the campaign heats up, the opposition will try to keep the spotlight on jobs, or lack of them, even as the BJP tries to focus on national security following a recent confrontation with Pakistan. The final verdict on whether to give Prime Minister Modi a second term in office will be delivered by millions of voters when they cast their ballots. (VOA)

One response to “Are There Enough Jobs In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Led India?”

  1. If the employment picture is bleak despite the construction of so many more Kilometers of roads, railways, air ports, bridges, toilets and other infrastructures compared to the five or even ten years of UPA government, imagine where we would be if we had UPA III government .