NEW DELHI: A report by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, under the Rural Development Ministry claims that the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - Gramin (PMAY-G) has been able to generate around 2.5 lakh jobs in the past two years.
“The total PMAY-G estimated expenditure has generated 2.53 lakh jobs in the economy showing an employment growth of 1.77 per cent. Out of this, 1.35 lakh are directly employed in the residential construction sector,” the report says.
Ministry officials, however, say that the figures include even those jobs which have been created as a ripple effect of the PMAY-G. “Apart from the residential construction, there have been jobs created in the construction manufacturing sector due to the increased demands of materials. When we put these numbers together, the figure is accurate,” a ministry official said.
Elaborating on the numbers, one of the researchers who was part of the team that compiled the report said, “The total investment of Rs 35,134.62 crore gives an equivalent increase in the demand for residential construction and is increasing the production of residential construction by 22.67 per cent. The overall production of the economy increases by 0.65 percent due to the inter-sectoral linkages which in turn increases the number of jobs required and thus employment.”
However, rural experts are not particularly excited about the numbers the report projects. According to most experts, the number is exaggerated. “It is very difficult to generate over two lakh jobs in two years. Moreover, the scheme is also not progressing well due to many reasons. I think the ministry needs to take a reality check and revise its numbers,” Dr Reshmy Nair from the Centre of Poverty and Rural Development said.
Another expert Ratnesh Chaturvedi, professor of rural studies at Xavier Institute of Social Sciences, has a slightly different viewpoint and deemed it right to give the Centre the benefit of the doubt. “The data may not be completely wrong as it may be based on predictions and some complex calculations. However, at first glance, it looks very unlikely. A thorough research on the ground would only throw light on the real situation.”