Comparing Indian economy to a “rudderless boat” on choppy water, the Congress on Friday claimed that the Union Finance Ministry has “fallen between two stools”, and referring to incidents of lynching reported from across the country, the party said that social discord has put a brake on economic development.
“The Finance Ministry has fallen between two stools…. You have an acting Finance Minister and you have a pretending Finance Minister. The acting one does not know whether he is acting, and the pretending one does not know whether he is pretending,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said. “And, therefore, the economy is like a rudderless boat on a very choppy ocean.”
He said, “It is time the NDA government and the PM realise the consequences the country will have to face because of their mal-governance and maladministration of the Indian economy.” Referring to incidents of lynching, he said, “In the past one year, 27 people have been lynched across nine states. When lynching becomes the overriding headline day after day…it clearly shows that as long as there is social discord there cannot be any economic development, howsoever the government may try and window-dress its economic achievements.”
Referring to a June 2013 tweet by then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, stating that there is a competition between the Congress and the rupee on who will fall lower, Tewari said, “The rupee that day was trading at 59.27 to the dollar. Five years later, almost to the date, the rupee has been hovering around 69 to a dollar. And that is the lowest the rupee has ever fallen…. So we would like to tell the PM that there seems to be a competition between the BJP and the rupee on who will fall lower.”
He said while data put out by the RBI suggests that deposit growth in banks has slowed down by 7.59 per cent year on year, revised data of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) show that enrolment numbers have come down.
Tewari said, “Prime Minister Modi had used the EPFO data to claim that in 2017-18, 70 lakh new jobs had been created. He had based his assertions on a study which was carried out by some economist…. Now the revised data show that between September and March 2017-18, EPFO enrolment actually fell by 12.58 per cent. In absolute terms, it fell by 4.95 lakh…. We would like to ask the PM that if on the basis of this data you were asserting that 70 lakh new jobs had been created, then are you prepared to concede, now that the data has been revised, it means that either people have become unemployed or that the (earlier) data was incorrect?”