Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — Latching onto the “confession” of Niti Aayog’s vice-chairperson Rajiv Kumar that “the current stress in the financial sector as unprecedented in the last 70 years”, the Congress once again hit out at the Modi Government for steady downslide of the economy. It said Mr. Kumar deserves to be congratulated for this candid confession but it requires a slight amendment that it is not only the financial sector but also the Indian economy under unprecedented strain.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters, senior party leader and former Union minister Manish Tewari said it is the making of the BJP Government in the past five years that led to this current situation as every sector of the economy is under grave stress.
“Something of that sort has not been seen in the past 70 years and much that the NDA-BJP Government would like us to believe that this is because of Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, unfortunately, that is not the case.”
Listing the slumps in the major sectors, he said in the textile sector, the sword of Damocles hangs over the heads of 30 million workers who can be on the streets at any point in time.
“The textile industry has been putting out advertisements on a daily basis now for the past one week explaining that this is perhaps the worst period which the textile industry has seen in the past 7 decades. The Tea industry is facing an unprecedented crisis.”
Referring to Green Span Index which was created by Chairperson of the Federal Reserve in America, the former Union minister averred that said the Green Span Index was premised on the fact that if there is a crisis in the inner-wear industry, it means that that the government or that economy is on the brink of explosion.
He presented some developments to buttress his point that “Parle Ji – the biscuit manufacturers – have announced that they are laying 10,000 people, the Rupee as of Friday morning crashed to Rs 72.03 against the Dollar making it the worst-performing currency in Asia.
The crisis in the automobile sector is extremely well documented as 3, 50,000 workers stand retrenched in the sector, there is a shadow banking crisis because of insecurity and private consumption is at a historic low which constitutes 60 per cent of the GDP, he added.
He said the Indian economy enters perhaps its choppiest phase, and there is economic distress all around while the silence of the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister are deafening.
“All you see is deflection, obfuscation, the politics of vendetta, unprecedented undeclared emergency across the country and the primary purpose of this is that the government does not have a clue as to how they are going to handle this crisis in the Indian economy which is intensifying on a daily basis,” he said.
When asked about the Finance Minister holding a press conference on the economy, the Congress leader quipped how you know that the Finance Minister is going to speak about the economy.
“If you go by the track record of this government, you have the Finance Minister who speaks on Defence, you have the Defence Minister who speaks on internal security, you have the Home Minister who thinks as may be the de facto Prime Minister and you have other ministers in the government who possibly do not have a voice. So, when in the last 5-1/2 years, have you heard any minister in this government talking about his own ministry.”
On the BJP’s promise of generating 100 million jobs in five years, Tewari said they (BJP) forgot this promise while the government is hell-bent on how to make the youths jobless.
Congress believed that there is a serious economic crisis in the country and it is impacting the employment situation and the party is extremely concerned and worried about it, he said.
If you read the statement of the chief economic adviser and the statement of the vice-chairperson of the Niti Ayog, each statement sounds like an alibi because they know that the fundamentals of the Indian economy are no longer strong, he said.
“Is this not an admission of failure by the government; is this not an admission that the government has absolutely no clue as to how they are going to extricate the Indian economy from this morass? Congress leader asked.