New Delhi: A few months ago, an employment survey of the National Sample Survey Organisation created much discomfort for the government as the apparently leaked data said that unemployment has touched the highest levels in several decades. Reports have suggested that the government is suppressing 2017-18 Consumer Expenditure Survey which shows a sharp decline in average consumption.

“In the interest of transparency and accountability, all data must be released without delay and irrespective of what the results are.

“The government may wish to defend itself against interpretations of the statistics that it disagrees with,” the statement said.

The economists and academicians who issued the statement, include A Vaidyanathan and Abhijit Sen (former members of erstwhile Planning Commission), Biswajit Dhar (JNU), Dilip Mookherjee (Boston University), Maitreesh Ghatak (LSE), Prabhat Patnaik (Emeritus Professor, JNU), and Thomas Piketty (Paris School of Economics).

The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) showed the unemployment rate in the country in FY18 was at 5.3% in rural India and 7.8% in urban India, resulting in an overall unemployment rate of 6.1%.

It was then the Union ministers issued statements denying any slump. Union Law and Justice Minister said the economy of the country is sound as three movies have collected a record earning of Rs 120 crore on October 2. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had earlier said that the automobile industry was experiencing a lull as millennials prefer cab-hailing apps.

(With PTI inputs)