Though approved by the National Statistical Commission in December 2018, the Modi government has suppressed the NSSO report which exposes the terrible plight of agricultural labourers
The number of casual farm labourers has gone down by 40% in the last four years, according to the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2017-2018 report by NSSO which the government has declined to release.
The details revealed by the survey proves as completely false the tall claims of the Narendra Modi government that it has brought ‘Achchhe Din’ (good days) for the common men.
According to the NSSO survey, as many as 3.2 crore casual labourers lost their jobs in rural India between 2011-12 and 2017-18, of these almost 3 crore were working on farms.
As against 36 million families who depended mainly on income from casual farm work in 2011-12, only 21 million families now depend on farm work. This means 15 million families have moved away from the farming sector.
This indicates over 40% shrinkage in the casual farm labour workforce since 2011-12. Casual labourers are those employed from time to time when work is required to be done in farms.
According to NSSO data, the rural casual labour segment — farm and non-farm — shows an overall slide of 7.3% in male and 3.3% in female employment since 2011-12. This adds up to a total employment loss of 3.2 crore. A bulk of this loss, almost 3 crore, was in casual farm labour since the fall in households dependent on non-agricultural casual labour was negligible (from 13.5% to 12.9%).
Two members of the National Statistics Commission, including its Acting Chairperson PN Mohanan had resigned in January protesting the withholding of the report.