In a scathing attack on the government, the Congress on Tuesday said the condition of the economy is a “man-made tragedy” and the “project” to turn India into a majoritarian nation has “completely crippled” its economic development.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari also said the slowdown has a humanitarian side to it as manifested in death due to heart attack of Sanjay Gulati, an account holder in the Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank, and alleged suicide of Cafe Coffee Day founder V G Siddhartha.
He also cited a critical analysis of the government’s policies by Parakala Prabhakar, a noted political economist and husband of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, to claim that the economy is in “grave danger”.
Prabhakar, in an article in The Hindu, said there is anxiety all over about the economic slowdown in the country.
“While the government is still in denial mode, data flowing uninterruptedly into the public domain show that sector after sector is staring at a seriously challenging situation,” Prabhakar said in his op-ed.
He stated that private consumption has contracted, GDP growth is at a six-year low and unemployment is at a 45-year-high.
The government, however, is yet to show signs that it has come to grips with what ails the economy, Prabhakar claimed.
Tewari attacked the government, saying that the condition of the economy is a “man-made tragedy”.
“The NDA-BJP government has manufactured the current economic crisis through its inaction and through policies which it has pursued over the past five years,” he told a press conference.
He also alleged that the fundamentals of the Indian economy are in difficulty.
“Be it savings, expenditure, credit off take and investment. The wheels of the economy have stopped rotating,” he said.
“Social discord and economic development cannot go hand in hand. This project to turn India into a majoritarian nation has completely and absolutely crippled the Indian economy,” Tewari said.
Highlighting the PMC Bank scam and the State Bank of India’s reported loan write off worth 76,000 crore, he said the confidence of the people in the banking sector is completely shaken.
Tewari also said that Nobel Prize winner Indian-origin economist Abhijit Banerjee, along with other economists, had written a letter in which they accused the government of fudging economic figures.
Former finance minister late Arun Jaitley had described those who had written the letter as “compulsive contrarians”, but the world has considered him to fit to be given a Nobel, he said.
“Our apprehension is that we will not be able to come out if this crisis as the government has no clue about it,” he said.
Tewari also slammed the government over the judicial custody of former finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX media case, claiming that he is being held captive in a false case. “He had given a dream budget. We are not saying this, but the former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan had said this,” he said.