The Congress today dubbed the central government “useless” for having “no vision” for the economy in the backdrop of falling GDP numbers, and sought a white paper on the state of affairs. The opposition party also demanded the release of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures for last 10 years based on both old and new methodologies. Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said, “The GDP growth, which is falling for the last six quarters, is around 4.3 per cent as per old methodology. “The GDP continues to be in constant decline. The sharp dip seen now is not just 5.7 per cent, it (GDP) will be 4.3 per cent based on old methodology,” he told reporters here. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has betrayed the people of India. He and his government have proved to be useless. Modi has pulled the country behind and shut the window of opportunities for the country’s youths,” he said. “We have also demanded that the government release the 10 year GDP numbers as per old methodology as well as on the new series. Also, the government must come out with a white paper on the state of the economy. They have been stonewalling this demand of Congress for long,” he said.
The former Union minister further stated, “The Q2 GDP numbers, our concern and fear is, will again be low. So, 2017-18 like 2016-17 is going to be bad years for the Indian economy”. The Congress also hit out at Modi and his finance minister (Arun Jaitley) for “having no vision or road map” to restore the health of the economy. “Our advice to the prime minister, his finance minister and other propagandists is stop making boastful claims, be serious in coursed correction and give the account of your failures,” Sharma said. He said Modi was inviting “ridicule” by continuing to claim in international fora that the “world needs to learn from India, it being the fastest growing”. “If this is what is fastest growing, we do not know (prime minister) what is low growth and job losses,” he said. Sharma also asked the government to release manufacturing and IIP numbers as per old and new series. “By changing the methodology, a failed student does not get merit or first class,” he quipped.
The former commerce minister said there was a sharp decline of 7 per cent in private and public sector investment, adding that one-third of existing industrial capacity was not utilised. “All this means huge job losses,” he said. Sharma added that the unorganised sector was delivered a “body blow” by demonetisation and was yet to recover. He said former prime minister Manmohan Singh had forewarned the present dispensation that the GDP was going to decline sharply. “But Modi and his finance minister took strong umbrage to the advice. The prime minister thinks that he has a better knowledge and understanding of Economics,” he said. Sharma alleged that the ‘Make in India’ call by Modi continued to remain a slogan.