NEW DELHI: Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Wednesday said the IT sector has created 8.73 lakh new jobs in the past five years, as he accused the Congress of spreading blatant "falsehood" on the employment data.
"Congress is indulging in falsehoods...They have nothing to offer from their own side...I speak based on our performance not rhetoric, on facts not falsehoods," Prasad told reporters here.
Citing the data by apex industry body Nasscom, he said the IT sector has spawned 8.73 lakh jobs in the past five years under Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government and currently provides employment to 41.40 lakh persons directly and 1.2 crore persons indirectly.
"I am not using my data, I am giving Nasscom data," he said.
Confronting the Opposition over the jobs crisis barb, the minister challenged the Congress to show just how many jobs had been generated in their tenure.
"One can talk on facts but not on falsehoods, and if the Congress party is so keen, can they show their record of employment generated in 10 years of UPA when the economy was down and India was a big centre of impropriety and corruption," Prasad said.
He said the spurt in economic activities and infrastructure projects over the past few years has created a number of jobs.
"If the economy is 7.4 per cent plus, if national highways are being constructed, if manufacturing is picking up, and if India's economy is globally being recognised, it is creating more and more jobs," Prasad said.
The minister said as per data by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), the IT and BPO sector alone created 2.18 lakh jobs in 2014-15, 2.03 lakh jobs (2015-16), 1.75 lakh jobs (2016-17), 1.05 lakh jobs (2017-18), and 1.72 lakh jobs (2018-19).
He said that in the past five years, about 6.7 lakh jobs (direct and indirect) had been created in electronics manufacturing, and 12 lakh jobs in common service centres, which is the government's rural outreach programme offering a spate of services through digital platform.
He further said the programme on business process outsourcing (BPO) in small towns has created 23,000 job opportunities.
The comments came even as Congress President Rahul Gandhi launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue of jobs, alleging his policies destroyed one crore jobs last year.
Gandhi's criticism of Modi came following a media report which claimed that the actual size of India's male workforce, or men who are working, has shrunk for the first time since 1993-94.
"I thought India was producing 450 jobs a day. Turns out Modi's policies destroyed 1 crore jobs in 2018. That's 27,000 jobs lost every single day of 2018. India's PM is a joke," Gandhi had tweeted.