Ground realities ignored, says Opposition on Economic Survey

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 31, 2020

The Opposition said that the Economic Survey is a presentation that is disconnected from the ground reality. It blamed the “monumental mismanagement” of the Narendra Modi government for the “difficult times” of the economy.

Congress spokespersons MV Rajeev Gowda, Supriya Shrinate and Gourav Vallabh told reporters that the Chief Economic Advisors of the Narendra Modi government have ignored the ground realities in all these years.

They said the Survey draws more upon historical references than economic theory. “But even the historical references pay no attention to the distribution of wealth and the barriers to wealth creation, which existed in ancient India, for example, the caste system,” Gowda said.

The Rajya Sabha member added that the Congress governments in the past focussed on growth and development steered by public sector spending and support. “When we had built a strong enough foundation, we liberalised and India’s subsequent growth has benefited from our policies. Unfortunately, our efforts to catch up with the rest of the world has not been helped by the Modi government’s policies or by its CEA’s Economic Surveys,” he said.

They said despite the grand claims, the reality is that the country has the worst economy in 42 years. “Unemployment is at a historic high. For the first time in four decades consumption has fallen, raising the fear of increasing poverty and malnutrition. Revenues are drying up drastically,” they said.

No credible roadmap

Gowda added that the Survey does not present any credible roadmap to resolve hurdles that come in the way of increased private investment. “Thalinomics is another obfuscation. The claims of affordable thalis are misleading especially after the NSS consumption survey pointed out how food consumption has reduced, we are facing fears of rising poverty and malnutrition. What we have are shrinking thalis. India has been constantly falling in the Global Hunger Index and ranks behind Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan,” he said.

Shrinate said the growth projection of 6-6.5 per cent made in Survey is not credible. “One look at last year’s projections of 7 per cent growth versus the actual below 5 per cent reality tells us we need to be prepared for even worse fiscal year in FY 2021. Optimism is welcome but the Survey needs to have realistic believable projections,” she said.

Vallabh said the Centre has showed mergers as the way to help banks to face the crisis. “Banks do not have capital. If you merge the banks without capital, how can the new entity create capital? The Centre has no answers for this,” Vallabh said.

Published on January 31, 2020

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