The Congress on Friday said the government's advisors have "confessed" that the country's economy is in "crisis", and demanded answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the steps being taken to revive it. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the government should remonetize the economy by putting money in the hands of "the needy and not the greedy".
His comments came hours after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced several measures to boost economic growth and address distress in various sectors. Also, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said on Thursday that the government was considering a number of measures which will be taken at an appropriate time to deal with financial stress in the economy.
Gandhi wrote on Twitter on Friday, "Government's own economic advisors have finally acknowledged what we cautioned for long - India's economy is in a deep mess. "Now, accept our solution and remonetize the economy, by putting money back in the hands of the needy and not the greedy."
Taking a swipe at Sitharaman over her announcements, the Congress also tweeted from it official handle, "Essentially, the FM has backtracked on several provisions presented in her maiden budget. The only thing that remained the same: no mention of job creation then, no mention today either."
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, "The BJP government should clearly tell the country as to why the economy is in such bad shape." "Business is crumbling and industries are shaking. The Rupee is weakening and jobs are disappearing. Who will make up for the losses?"
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said, "Crisis situation in Indian economy as reflected in the statement of Vice Chairman, Niti Aayog, is a matter of grave concern for the entire nation. Almost all sectors are facing problems, lakhs of people are losing jobs." After Sitharaman's briefing, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari tweeted, "A structural problem bedevils the fundamentals of Indian economy because of lag effect of Demonitisation/GST coupled with spectre of terror unleashed on even honest business persons juxtaposed with lack of understanding of economic issues by successive Finance Ministers of NDA/BJP."
Tewari said the Niti Ayog vice-chairperson deserves to be congratulated for his "confession" that the current stress in the financial sector is unprecedented. This confession requires a slight amendment, he said, "as it is not just the financial sector, (rather) it is the Indian economy that is under stress.
The current situation in the Indian economy is unprecedented, something of the sort has not been seen in the past 70 years." "When you have the Indian economy enter its choppiest phase perhaps, the silence of the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister are deafening. All you see is deflection, politics of vendetta, undeclared emergency across the country," he told reporters.
The Congress leader said if one looks at some of the figures, over 3 crore people are currently facing a threat of becoming unemployed. "Every sector of the economy is under grave stress. Textile industry has been putting out advertisements on a daily basis for past one week, explaining that this is perhaps the worst period which the textile industry has seen in the past seven decades," he said.
The primary reason for this is that the government does not have a clue as to how they will handle this crisis which is intensifying on a daily basis, Tewari said. "Much that the BJP-NDA government would like us to believe that this is because of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, unfortunately, that is not the case. This is the making of the NDA-BJP government in the past five years," he noted. The Congress also tweeted, "This no longer about fudged data and cover-ups.
There is a structural problem & the govt is doing nothing to fix it. The BJP must stop hiding from the facts and accept the damage done in order to save India from economic collapse." "India is in dire need of an FM with a basic understanding of economics. Our growth rate may be higher than US & China, but they are a USD 21 trillion and USD 14.8 trillion economies respectively, we are USD 2.8 trillion.
You cannot make a growth rate comparison without looking at base levels," the party said. "FM says India's economy is down because of the global situation - conveniently ignoring the simultaneous destruction by Demonetisation and GST. "She may have also forgotten that in 2008 during the global recession, our economy remained stable because of Dr. Manmohan Singh's policies," the party said. Congress chief spokesperson, Randeep Surjewala said, "3 years after the introduction of the faulty GST, India continues to suffer massive shortfalls in revenue.
If PM Modi had prioritised the economy over his sartorial choices, foreign parades and jungle photo shoots, this day would not have come." "With four senior economic advisors resigning one after another, two RBI governors leaving in quick succession, economic quackery like demonetisation, are we surprised that the Rupee is Asia's worst performing currency," he said. "Worst liquidity crisis in 70 years. Finally an admission from a Government in denial. You can lie, spin, suppress and manufacture numbers but the truth always comes out. The Modi Government needs to take an immediate call. Stop campaigning and start Governing," Surjewala said.