"Let's look at the numbers. In 2014-15, the EPFO (Employees Provident Fund Organisation) numbers jumped by 23 lakh. It was when economy grew by 7.5 per cent.
"In 2015-16, EPFO numbers jumped by 25 lakh as the economy grew at 8 per cent. In 2016-17, it is expected to jump by 75 lakh. How can it jump by 75 lakh?" Chidambaram said during a panel discussion here at the release of his latest book "Speaking Truth to Power".
"China's GDP is five times India's and it creates 150 lakh jobs. The argument is India's non-farm payroll jobs contributed to 75 lakh jobs? Which means farm sector and informal sector, there would be another 75 lakh jobs, or we would be creating 150 lakh jobs?" the former Finance Minister demanded to know.
"The attempt to use payroll as a measure was a good one but to use it to extrapolate and make such outrageous claims that India's economy created 75 lakh jobs, hark. We can only measure non-farm employment or what we call payroll jobs with fixed salary, wages etc. You can extrapolate from what you can measure and then extrapolate it over the entire economy," he explained.
He said that jobs are the number one concern today.
"If we are creating 75 lakhs jobs, how come this is number one concern? It is the concern that led Hardik Patel, Jignesh Mewani and Alpesh Thakore to be able to mobilise their supporters (in Gujarat).
"You may dismiss it as caste mobilisation. Yes, caste is a convenient term to mobilise but the real driving force behind they mobilisation was jobs," Chidambaram said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)