The Congress party has accused the Narendra Modi government of focusing only on ‘resetting’ opposition governments without making any efforts to ‘reset’ the Indian economy. Citing the latest quarterly GDP numbers released by the Central Statistics Office, the Congress party asked the Centre when it expects India to become a $5-trillion economy.
Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh asked if the government is intending to go back on its $5-trillion economy projections as it went back ‘on its promise of doubling farmers' income by 2022 and pucca houses to all eligible urban households by the year 2022.
Addressing a press conference in Delhi on the quarterly GDP numbers, Vallabh stressed the fact that the Indian rupee has fallen to 79.70 against the U.S. dollar, and the unemployment rate in August 2022, as per CMIE, was at 8.28%, the highest in the last year and retail inflation continues to be above the RBI’s tolerance band of 6%, sitting at 6.71% in July 2022.
“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. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation released the GDP numbers for Q1 FY 2022-23 on Wednesday this week. 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,” Vallabh says.
According to him, even if one considers the actual revised numbers for Q1 2019-20 to compare with the estimates for Q1 2022-23, the country has seen approximately 4% growth in the last 3 years. “The RBI, in its monetary policy meeting earlier this month, had projected the Indian economy to grow at 16% in Q1 2022-23, but the estimates put the growth at 13.5%. Real GDP or Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at Constant (2011-12) Prices in Q1 2022-23 is estimated to attain a level of ₹36.85 lakh crore as against the estimates of Real GDP or Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at Constant (2011-12) Prices of ₹35.85 lakh crore in Q1 2019-20. Industries such as mining and quarrying have contracted by 14% as compared to Q1 2019-20 whereas manufacturing, a heavy employment generator, has grown at a snail’s pace of 7% in 3 years,” Vallabh explains.
According to him, these are highly worrying numbers, with prospects not looking very bright due to the alleged inaction of the Modi government. “Even SBI had a downward growth forecast for FY23 from 7.5% to 6.8%. Other global banks and rating agencies have followed the same trend. 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. 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%?” He asks.