Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Saturday brushed aside suggestions that the country is facing an economic slowdown by citing the success of three movies on a national holiday, news agency PTI reported.
“I was also told that on October 2, which is observed as one of the national holidays, three Hindi movies garnered Rs 120 crore business on that day. Unless the economy is sound in the country how can only three movies collected so much business in a single day?” Prasad asked while speaking to reporters. He was in Mumbai to campaign for the BJP for the October 21 Maharashtra assembly polls.
#WATCH Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Mumbai: On 2nd October, 3 movies were released. Film trade analyst Komal Nahta told that the day saw earning of over Rs 120 crores, a record by 3 movies. Economy of country is sound, that is why there is a return of Rs 120 cr in a day. pic.twitter.com/fHpTqZJg4w
— ANI (@ANI) October 12, 2019
Prasad also dubbed the National Sample Survey Office’ (NSSO) report “wrong” for pegging unemployment rate at a 45-year-high in 2017.
Taking a dig at Prasad for his comments, Congress wrote on Twitter, “At this point we must ask ourselves, do our Ministers really believe what they’re saying or is it just part of the media circus that is the BJP govt. If it’s the former, then are they really qualified to be Ministers?”
The NSSO’s periodic labour force survey (PLFS) had stated that the unemployment rate was this high last time, in 1972-73, and at 2.2 per cent in 2011-12.
Attacking the Centre over the report, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had said that the Narendra Modi-led government had promised two crore jobs, but five years later, a “leaked job creation report card” revealed a “national disaster”.
Referring to the NSSO report, Prasad said, “I have given you ten parameters where economy is performing well, but not a single one is reflected in the (NSSO) report. Hence I call it a wrong report.”
While reiterating that various sectors are performing well, the Union minister added: “Electronic manufacturing, Information and Technology sector, Mudra loan, commerce services are performing very well. We never said that we will give government jobs to everyone.”
On Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had said that the economic slowdown is more pronounced in India and Brazil this year. However, Prasad countered it saying the measurement was incomplete. He further alleged that some people organised against the government were trying to mislead the public over the unemployment scenario.
Pointing out India and Brazil, IMF MD Kristalina Georgieva had stated that 90 per cent of the world is likely to have slower growth in 2019. Reacting to her statement, Prasad said, “The measurement of IMF about India is still incomplete. And do not forget, India was on the 11th position when Manmohan Singh was in power; today it is the fifth-largest. We have surpassed even France.”
Prasad’s comments also came on the heels of India slipping ten positions in the world competitive index report and a day after government data revealed that factory output had shrunk by 1.1 per cent in August, making it the poorest performance in seven years.
-with agency inputs from PTI
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