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Friday, September 18, 2020

Govt ignored warnings, fake narrative has exploded: Congress

Pointing out that the gross domestic output has fallen by about 20 per cent since the end of 2019-20, Chidambaram said the only sector that has grown is agriculture, forestry and fishing at 3.4 per cent.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | September 1, 2020 1:20:59 am
farm bills, farm ordinances, Punjab farmers protests, farmers mandi protests, APMC farmers protest, Haryana farmers protest, Farmers protest, agrarian crisis, APMC ordinance, Punjab farmers protest, Haryana farmers protest, Indian ExpressSenior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram. (Express Photo/File)

As GDP in the first quarter of 2020-21 declined 23.9 per cent, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday said the “fake narrative” peddled by the BJP-led government has “exploded”.

He said it will take many months before the economy turns the corner and registers positive growth but “the inaction and ineptitude of the government gives us no hope that we will see light at the end of the tunnel at any time soon”. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi accused the government of “attacking” the informal sector of the economy. “GDP reduces by 24%. The worst in Independent India’s history. Unfortunately, the Govt ignored the warnings,” he tweeted.

Pointing out that the gross domestic output has fallen by about 20 per cent since the end of 2019-20, Chidambaram said the only sector that has grown is agriculture, forestry and fishing at 3.4 per cent.

“The Finance Minister who blamed an ‘Act of God’ for the economic decline should be grateful to the farmers and the gods who blessed the farmers. Every other sector of the economy has declined sharply, some precipitously. manufacturing is down 39.3 per cent; construction is down by 50.3 per cent; and trade, hotels, transport and communications by 47.0 per cent,” he told the media.

Chidambaram said the estimates did not come as a surprise to the Congress. “They should be a matter of surprise to the government that was seeing ‘green shoots’ on several days during the first quarter. They should also be a matter of shame to the government that did nothing — literally nothing — to cushion the fall by taking suitable fiscal and welfare measures, but we know that the Modi government has no shame and will not acknowledge its mistakes,” he said. He added the dip was foretold by “many close observers of the Indian economy, most recently by RBI in its Annual Report released a few days ago”.

“… The country, as a whole, is paying a heavy price, the poor and the vulnerable are in despair. It is only the Modi government that was nonchalant and uncaring. The government peddled a fake narrative, but that narrative has been exploded today by the CSO estimates,” he said.

Rahul, in a video message, said the government has been attacking the informal sector over the past six years. “I am giving you three massive examples — demonetisation, wrong GST and lockdown,” he said.

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