Congress said on Thursday that the improvement in GDP numbers to 6.3 per cent was “a temporary pause from the downward trend” and accused the Narendra Modi government of giving a “desperate spin to hide its luminous under-performance”. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that growth of agriculture and core sectors was abysmal. “Modi Government’s constant resort to market and its arrogantly bloating on the meagre achievement is nothing but a desperate spin to hide its luminous underperformance. A dispassionate assessment reveals serious weaknesses in the Indian economy, affecting all major sectors,” he said. Alleging income inequalities were worsening, unemployment rising, rural economy struggling, farmers being driven to suicide and middle class getting crushed under “the double whammy of demonetisation and a flawed GST (Goods and Services Tax)”, he said the latest figures were a respite from the downward trend for India’s economy.
Noting GDP growth in the fiscal’s first half was 6 per cent against 7.7 per cent in the same period last year, he said that Gross Value Added (GVA) growth was 5.8 per cent compared to 7.2 per cent while agriculture GVA growth slowed to 1.7 percent against 2.3 percent – “a significant downfall and impacts almost 70 percent of India”. Manufacturing growth also slowed to 7 per cent in this quarter from 7.7 per cent in the previous quarter, said Surjewala.
With private investment stagnant and Gross Fixed Capital Formation – a key indicator to measure private investment as a percentage of GDP – lowest in 14 years at 4.3 per cent, he said this “is abysmal and bodes ill for the future. The government lives in a make-believe cuckoo world and is unable to see, feel, judge or address India’s real pain”.