Taking forward the Narendra Modi government's claim of creating "lakhs of jobs", Union minister Nitin Gadkari has asserted that the departments under him have provided employment to one crore youths since the NDA government came to power in May 2014. Gadkari was speaking on the sidelines of an event to mark the 50th foundation day of WAPCOS, a consultancy organisation and public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. Gadkari said the claims made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that his government has created lakhs of jobs are "true". The Road Transport and Highways minister said departments under his ministry like highways, shipping, port, inland waterways, water resources have awarded projects worth Rs 10 lakh crore, and the statistics have been proven. Gadkari added that these departments generate a lot of direct and indirect employment. The minister, however, said that he is in the process of collecting data and statistics to support his claims. "We are collecting data. I can take a challenge regarding my departments. We constructed a tunnel in Kashmir where 2,000 Kashmiri youths were working. In Zoji La tunnel, more than 4,000 Kashmiri youths would be working for four years," he was quoted as saying by PTI. Asserting that the rate of employment generation has increased in the past four years, he said whenever there is an investment of Rs 1,000 crore, "50 thousand to one lakh" jobs are created directly or indirectly. While the manufacturing of equipment used in the construction of roads and buildings have doubled, the cement industry is also growing, he said. "So one can say the industries related to these departments have grown, giving employment to many as engineers, labours, truck drivers," he asserted in a PTI report. In an interview to Swarajya, PM Narendra Modi said that more than the lack of jobs, the issue is a lack of data on jobs. PM Modi added that there are close to three lakh village-level entrepreneurs who are running Common Service Centres across the country and also creating more employment. Start-ups are working as job multipliers and there are around 15,000 start-ups, which the Government has helped in some way, said PM Modi in the interview.