Congress today accused the NDA government at the Centre of ruining the country’s economy and termed BJP as the biggest non-performing asset (NPA). The party also claimed that GDP nosedived due to the demonetisation move, while investment touched its lowest ebb. “Our economy has shattered during NDA rule as BJP has become country’s biggest NPA. Economic growth has slowed down sharply, driven mainly by demonetisation. GDP decelerated at 6.1 per cent during January-March 2017,” Congress Working Committee (CWC) member Anil Shastri told reporters here. Slamming the BJP for celebrating completion of three years of NDA government by organising ‘Modi Fest’ and ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’, Shastri said there is nothing to rejoice about the failures of Modi regime on all fronts.
Dubbing demonetisation as a “himalayan blunder”, he said it wiped out livelihood of millions, while seven months after the drive, the BJP government cannot tell how much black money was found and how much fake currency detected. He said the Gross Value Added (GVA) growth of industry has fallen from 10.7 per cent in March 2016 to 3.8 per cent in March 2017, a decline of nearly 7 percentage points. Terming the Make in India campaign as flop, the Congress leader said the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), which was growing at 5.3 per cent in February 2016, dropped to 1.9 per cent in March, 2017, while only 14 per cent FDI was received in core manufacturing sectors. As BJP confined to slogans, advertising and rhetorics, nothing concrete was done and bank credit growth stood at 5.3 per cent in 2016-17, lowest in 63 years, Shastri said.
Stating that the country witnessed lowest investment rate in 14 years, he said new investment proposals fell from Rs 2,20,000 crore in 2008 to Rs 80,000 crore in 2016. On PSU banks, he said the NPA grew to Rs 6,14,872 crore in March 2017 from Rs 1,73,800 crore in March 2014.
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Ridiculing the Centre’s slogan about ease of doing business, the CWC member said “It has become cease of business as India’s ranking in ease of doing business remained virtually unchanged at 130, despite false bravado and foreign jaunts.” Claiming that value of stalled projects is estimated at Rs 77,700 crore as on December 2016, he said falling exports show the economy is sluggish. As job and growth scenario turned gloomy, about 45 crore people including 25 crore labour and 15 crore daily earners are affected, Shastri said adding farmers are forced to sell their produce for a pittance. Turning to rural electrification, he said BJP promised to electrify 18,452 villages in 3 years, but electrified only 13,432 villages, leaving 5,020 villages untouched. It merely changed the name of Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana.
Stating that the promise of housing for all remained hollow, Shastri claimed the BJP government promised two crore houses by 2022, but in three years it completed 1,02,676 houses and at this pace, it will take 600 years to construct two crore houses. On oil prices, he said BJP is profiteering at the cost of common people as prices of petrol and diesel see no cuts, despite 55 per cent fall in international crude prices. Instead of passing the benefits to people, the BJP regime earned a windfall of USD 40 billion or Rs 2,33,000 crore, he claimed. Accusing the Centre of unleashing tax terrorism, Shastri said tax officials with unlimited powers can now raid and harass honest tax payers without any reason.
While plans for 100 smart cities by 2020 has become a ‘jumla’ with only 60 cities being identified so far, the digital India call remains a non-starter, he said adding, only 16,355 panchayats have been covered in three years as against the target of covering 1,00,289 panchayats in the first phase.