Union textile minister Smriti Irani Friday said conversations around the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report on unemployment in the country gave a distorted picture, calling it “fake news”.
Irani was speaking to students at Shri Ram College of Commerce Business Conclave. Asked about the report and unemployment figures, she said, “I am happy that you asked this question because it gives me a sense of the distortion that is being done among people with regards to… fake news.”
She said that before the BJP-led government came into power, job guarantee scheme MGNREGA was used as doles rather than to build capital assets for the country.
“We insisted that you build capital assets and as compared to previous government, where only 20 lakh such assets were made earlier, we ensured 1.7 crore capital assets are built by those very fellow citizens who were part of a pre-existing opportunity… These are hard facts that cannot be ignored,” she said.
On the row over entry of women into Sabarimala, Irani said it was incumbent upon people to respect religious practices. “As individuals, it is our responsibility, given the diverse nature of communities in our country, to respect those tenets, and those practices. Do we breach practices only because we seek to make headlines or do we talk about only and only matters of faith. And, that is where my comments came from,” she said, referring to comments made last year, where she said one has the right to pray but not desecrate.