An estimated 10 lakh youths in Gujarat are registered as unemployed with the employment exchanges. However, this should not have been the case if the large promises made during the successive Vibrant Gujarat Summits were fulfilled, even partially.
Data sourced from the state government show that as against the over 1 crore jobs promised at the Summits, the MoUs that have translated into investments have so far created a little over 11 lakh jobs, i.e. just about 9% of what was claimed.
Senior government officials say that overall success rate of MoUs signed at Vibrant Gujarat Summits is more than 60%, almost double the national average of 30-35%. However, the figures related to the jobs created by the purported massive investments pouring into the state fail to support these claims.
The first Summit was held in 2003, but the practice of announcing the number of jobs or employment the investments proposed in MoUs would create was started only in 2007. The data reveals that the investments realised from MoUs signed in 2003 and 2005 Summits have so far created some 60,000 jobs in all.
At the end of the 2007 Summit, the state government announced that more than 13 lakh jobs would be created because of the massive investments that would flow into the state. However, the data shows that a paltry 80,000 jobs have been created from the Summit so far.
In 2009, the MoUs promised creation of more than 27 lakh fresh jobs. But, so far, the MoUs have led to creation of 4.5 lakh employment opportunities.
Similarly, at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit of 2011, where MoUs worth a staggering Rs20.83 lakh crore were signed, the number of jobs to be created was pegged at an unbelievable 60 lakh. It was touted as the biggest success of the Summit, even more than the investments proposed. However, the actual number of jobs that have materialised from the Summit so far is 3.7 lakh. At the 2013 Summit, when the government signed a record-breaking 17,719 MoUs, but decided against revealing their worth, 3.7 lakh jobs were promised. Of these, 1.2 lakh jobs have been created.
However, the government insists that MoUs signed at the Summits have created far more jobs that what its own data suggests. “Our data is based on the figures reported by the industries voluntarily. It is not mandatory for units to do so and many of them have not disclosed the number of employment created by them. The actual number of jobs created by the Vibrant Gujarat Summits is much higher,” said a senior official.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, another official said that the estimates of the jobs created by the MoUs were “very very conservative”. He pointed out that Gujarat has been ranked as the leading state in providing jobs through employment exchanges, and the rate of unemployment in the state is significantly lower than the national average.