Days after resigning as the acting chairman of the National Statistical Commission (NSC), PC Mohanan on Friday said the government's continuous delay in releasing the "final" NSSO report on jobs forced him to step down from his position. According to a report, published on NDTV, Mohanan told the channel that the Centre was in no mood to release its first comprehensive report on the employment situation in India despite the commission's approval as per the release calendar on December 5. "When it came to the NSSO report, and one of the reports that we approved on December 5 as per the release calendar, was not getting released. So, this was the last straw," NDTV quoted the former head of the NSC as saying.
Rubbishing the Niti Ayog's claim that it was a "draft report", Mohanan further claimed that once a report is approved by the NSC, it is considered to be the final report and, therefore, has no need to be approved by the government. "When you use the word 'approve', it raises questions of credibility," the former NSC head told the television channel.
Mohanan's latest claim also contradicted NITI Aayog Vice Chief Rajiv Kumar's statement, who cited personal reason behind the resignation of two top NSC members on January 28.
"In my letter, I made it very clear I have specific instances and we thought our continuing in the commission was not serving any purpose because the commission was not very effective and there's nothing personal in that. The government should take note of the issues and improve the system. And Meenakshi, who resigned along with me, also said the same thing," Mohanan added.
The NSSO report, which came to light months ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019, escalated a huge political storm across the country. The report which is yet to receive the government's nod for its official release, was first published in the Business Standard newspaper on Thursday. The reports, which shows the country's unemployment rate at a 45-year high captures the impact of demonetisation on the economy.
Soon after the report started doing rounds on social networking sites, Kumar addressed a press conference on Thursday, saying that the quarterly employment data are still in process and would be released by the government by March, 2019.
On January 28, PC Mohanan and JV Meenakshi had resigned from the Commission citing a lack of involvement in key decisions such as the recently-released gross domestic product (GDP) back series, launch of the new economic census and delay in publishing the employment-unemployment report for 2016-17 despite its approval.