Hours after the Economic Survey was tabled in Parliament, the Congress and the CPM hit out at the BJP-led government over its handling of the economy. Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the findings of the survey were neither positive nor encouraging and added that it seems the government is pessimistic about the economy.
Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala said the Economic Survey is truer than the multiple tall claims made by the government even though it attempts to “whitewash the massive failures and gross economic mismanagement of the BJP government in the past 5 years”.
He said in a statement that the survey only reflects “part of the deepening economic uncertainties and mismanagement inflicted by BJP on India”.
CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the “Economic Survey is full of bombastic claims and grandiose declarations without any basis in facts” and argued that “any growth strategy based on private investment will be a non-starter; economic growth needs more purchasing power amongst people, not more investment with higher unemployment”.
“Economic survey glosses over the major challenges faced by millions of Indians and whitewashes the terrible economic record of past 5 years. The departure of so many RBI governors and previous CEA tells us of the harsh reality,” he added.
In a statement, Chidambaram said the survey has not said much on the outlook for this fiscal barring a “bland” statement that growth of the economy is expected to be 7 per cent in 2019-20. There are no growth projections sector wise, he said. “The Economic Survey flags slowing growth, shortfall in revenue, finding resources without compromising the fiscal deficit target, impact of oil prices on the current account and recommendations of the Fifteenth FC (financial commission) on central government finances. I am afraid, none of these is positive or encouraging. It appears to me that the government, speaking through the Economic Survey, is pessimistic about the economy,” he said.
Surjewala said the survey makes a feeble attempt to wake up the government from “its deep slumber of inaction on the economic front”. He said the survey provides no roadmap to deal with the massive unemployment problem.
“Economic Survey predicts GDP growth at 7 per cent for FY20 without there be any foundation to sustain it….Although the Survey proclaims that private investment is the ‘key driver of growth, jobs, exports and demand’….the grim reality is completely the opposite. Fresh investments have plunged to a 15 year low and new public sector projects have fallen by 41 per cent year on year, which is lowest in 14 years. Besides, private sector projects are being stalled at an all time high rate of 26 per cent,” he said in a statement.