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7.28 cr got self-employed: Amit Shah's answer to 'jobless growth'

He was speaking at the launch of a coffee table book, 'The Making of a Legend', on Modi

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Mohan Bhagwat, Amit Shah
RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat and BJP President Amit Shah release the coffee-table book "Narendra Damodardas Modi : The Making of a Legend" authored by Sulabh International chief Bindeshwar Pathak during a function in New Delhi

"Economic pundits" may be criticising the for a "jobless growth", but India cannot tackle unemployment only with jobs, BJP president has said, noting that 7.28 crore people have become self-employed under the Centre's Mudra loan scheme in three years.

"Economic pundits talk about a jobless growth and try to tear out the few hair that I have on my head by asking where the jobs are?" Shah said, tongue firmly in cheek.

He was speaking at the launch of a coffee table book, 'The Making of a Legend', on Prime Minister here today. The function was attended by chief and several Union ministers and BJP leaders.

A country with a population of 125 crore cannot deal with the problem of unemployment by only creating jobs and the has provided self-employment to 7.28 crore youths, he said.

Highlighting Modi's schemes aimed at the poor strata of society, a segment he has been assiduously cultivating, Shah said that the government's biggest success was that it had provided opportunities to "the last man in the queue" to lift himself out of poverty.

The government ensured that every household had a bank account and had built over 4.38 crore toilets to give dignity to poor women who were otherwise forced to defecate in open, he said.

Taking a swipe at previous governments, Shah said many prime ministers who spoke about development and the poor had come and gone but it was left to Modi to build toilets, open bank accounts and provide the poor other basic facilities.

The government has set a target of giving five crore LPG connections to poor women by 2019 and to every household by 2024.

Past debates on whether a government should focus on urban or rural India, on industry or agriculture and on reform or welfare schemes had been ended with the government striking a balance between them, he said.

On the occasion, Shah also expressed his disagreement with the use of the word "legend" in the book's title for Modi, and said it was not an appropriate choice for a man who had worked in a "natural and simple manner" like a 'karyakarta'.

The book has been authored by Bindeshwar Pathak, the founder of Sulabh International. Pathak said no Indian leader after Gandhi focused as much on cleanliness as Modi.

Shah traced Modi's focus on self-employment and skill development to his rule in Gujarat where he was chief minister for over 12 years.

Between 2006 and 2012, Modi had focused on solving the crisis of Gujarat's falling water table and many regions came out of the "dark zone" due to his efforts.

In north Gujarat, most places fell under the dark zone, he said, adding that the state was now free of the "dark zone".

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, July 12 2017. 20:34 IST