New Delhi, September 2
The Congress on Friday alleged that India’s growth story is being pushed back due to the Centre’s “inept” handling of the economy and said its efforts are only directed towards “reset” of governments led by Opposition parties instead of chalking out a roadmap for the “reset of the economy”.
The Opposition party also asked whether the government will now go back on its promises of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 and making the country a USD 5 trillion economy.
“It is evident now that the BJP government due to its inept handling of the economy, no focus, and cluelessness, is pushing the Indian growth story back,” Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said at a press conference.
Citing the GDP growth numbers, he said India has seen a growth of only 3 per cent in the last three years and accused the government of “destroying” the Indian economy.
“These are highly worrying numbers, with prospects not looking very bright due to inaction by the Modi government. Even SBI had a downward growth forecast for FY23 from 7.5 per cent to 6.8 per cent,” he said, noting that other global banks and rating agencies have followed the same trend.
“When does the government now expect India to become a USD 5 Trillion economy? Does it intend to go back on its promise like doubling farmers’ income by 2022, pucca houses to all eligible urban households by the year 2022?” he asked.
His remarks came after official data released on Wednesday showed that the gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 13.5 per cent year-on-year compared to a 20.1 per cent expansion a year back and 4.09 per cent growth in the previous three months to March.
Noting that the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation released the GDP numbers for Q1 FY 2022-23 this week, Vallabh said while the headline management machinery of the government may push specific data points, the truth lies “once we dig deeper”.
“A true understanding of our economic position can only be made once we compare it to pre-Covid levels,” he said.
The RBI, in its monetary policy meeting earlier this month, had projected the Indian economy to grow at 16 per cent in Q1 2022-23, but the estimates put the growth at 13.5 per cent, Vallabh said.
Industries such as mining and quarrying have contracted by 14 per cent as compared to Q1 2019-20 whereas manufacturing, a heavy employment generator, has grown at a snail’s pace of 7 per cent in three years, he said.
“The Indian economy needs a reset as soon as possible due to changing global dynamics and India’s sluggish growth, but the finance minister didn’t blink an eye on these worrying data points.
“The government’s efforts are only directed towards the reset of Opposition governments instead of chalking out a roadmap for the reset of the economy,” Vallabh said.
The Congress has repeatedly accused the BJP of working to topple governments led by Opposition parties in various states, a charge denied by the saffron party.
Vallabh said one does not need to listen to ‘Mann ki Baat’ to know what the state of the Indian economy is, as the Indian rupee has fallen to Rs 79.70 against a US dollar and the unemployment rate in August 2022, as per the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, risen to 8.28 per cent—the highest in the past year.
He said retail inflation continues to be above the RBI’s tolerance band of 6 per cent, sitting at 6.71 per cent in July 2022.
“What is the reason for the leisurely approach by the Modi government as far as the economy is concerned? Cluelessness or doesn’t fit in their priority?
“What concrete measures is the government undertaking to generate employment opportunities for our youth when the urban unemployment rate rises to 9.6 per cent,” Vallabh asked the Union finance minister.
When does the government now expect India to become a USD 5 trillion economy, he asked.
“Does it intend to go back on its promise like doubling farmers’ income by 2022, pucca houses to all eligible urban households by the year 2022,” Vallabh asked.