The Congress attacked the BJP's "White Paper" on Monday, calling it a collection of lies that only serves to highlight how badly the BJP government has mismanaged the Indian economy and their desire to place the responsibility elsewhere.
Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here today, the party Spokesperson and the Chairperson of the Social Media and Digital Platforms, Supriya Shrinate said, “The white paper is a joke and it proves one thing-Mr Modi and his minions know fully well just how much they have messed up the Indian economy, and are desperate to somehow blame it elsewhere”.
“But the brazenness with which the Ministry of Finance has been used to issue such a political document raises many concerns”, she said, while adding, “this sham of a document has after all been prepared by officers who served in the past governments as well," added Supriya.
She said, these officers have been used to reject their own past work and this is the worst kind of political undermining of Indian bureaucracy, which is supposed to be an independent institution.
Ms Shrinate observed that the reality is that this “highly skewed and biased document would have found no takers had it been issued by the BJP, which is nothing but a propaganda cell”. And which is why, she added, it needed the Finance Ministry to do its dirty job.
Drawing comparisons between the economic progress during UPA’s ten years and that of NDA’s ten years, she pointed out, despite the constant rejigging of growth data, economic growth during NDA has been lower in last 10 years than under UPA tenure. She said, while during the UPA it was 6.7% under the NDA it is 5.9%.
Besides, she added, the income, consumption and investment have stagnated and there has been sharp dip in household savings.
She said, unemployment and underemployment among youth has skyrocketed. “The share of employment in agriculture has gone up while it has fallen in the manufacturing sector which is a bad economic indicator”, she added.
The Congress spokesperson said, the private investment has fallen steadily and so has the FDI, as also India’s share in global FDI.
She said, the BJP has been a total failure on the most important short term issue facing the country, jobs, and the most important long term issue, the health and education of our people.
“Despite inheriting a decadal GDP growth rate of 6.7% in 2014, a series of economic blunders like demonetization, poorly prepared GST rollout, pandemic shut down ruined the Indian economy”, she observed, while pointing out, “GDP growth fell steadily from 2016 with only 3.9% growth in 2019, even before the pandemic happened”.
Referring to Modi’s failed and forgotten promises as ‘Jumlanaomics”, she referred to a series of promises he had made before forming the government, which still remain unfulfilled.
She asked, what happened to the promises like ‘providing 2 crore jobs a year’, ‘bringing back black money stashed abroad in 100 days’, ‘depositing Rs 15 lakh in every citizen’s bank account’, selling petrol at Rs 35 a litre, doubling the income of farmers’ by 2022, achieving USD 5 trillion economy by 2022, house to every family by 2022 and 100 smart cities by 2022.
Referring to the mounting public debt, she said, “public debt as a fraction of GDP has increased from just over 67% to 82% as it increased from Rs 58.6 lakh crore in 2014 to Rs 173.3 lakh crore in 2023”.
Ms Shrinate said, the annual GDP growth during UPA, despite experiencing the Global Financial Crisis and despite all the BJP’s motivated revision of the data since 2014, was still higher than that of the ten years of Modi government.
She said, what really matters is consumption, especially of the masses and not the elite, and here the BJP has done an appalling job. She alleged that the BJP has suppressed surveys showing falling consumption, especially in rural India and for the bottom 50% percent of the population.