The release of yet another report on jobs growth has been held back, raising fresh concerns over data being fudged under a spin-happy political regime. Reportedly, the Labour Bureau’s survey on the number of jobs created under the Mudra loan scheme won’t be made public until the national elections are over. The main reason cited is “anomalies" found in the methodology used.

But the move’s eerie similarity with the recent rejection of other adverse reports only lends credence to speculation that the government is trying to cover up the truth of India’s employment scenario. Earlier, the centre spiked a report by the National Sample Survey Office that showed the country’s joblessness rate at a 45-year high, and has held back the Labour Bureau’s annual employment-unemployment report.

This is unfortunate. Data is the basis on which an economy is run. Concealing it will only result in poorly informed decisions, which, in turn, could retard the cause of improving the quality of citizens’ lives. It is not just the credibility of data that needs restoration, but also that of institutions. Both have taken a beating over the past five years.

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