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RCEP pact will deal ‘body blow’ to economy: Sonia Gandhi

Our Bureau | Updated on November 03, 2019 Published on November 02, 2019

Sonia Gandhi   -  PTI

Congress president Sonia Gandhi urged her party workers to take on the "anti people policies" of the Narendra Modi Government and create awareness among people.

Addressing a meeting of AICC office bearers and senior leaders, She said that it pains her to see the Indian economy under siege. "What is even more worrying is that the government is in complete denial. Instead of acknowledging the severe slowdown and looking for a comprehensive resolution, Prime Minister Modi is too busy managing headlines and events. This cavalier attitude comes at a high price, a price that millions of our fellow Indian especially the unemployed youth and farmers and fellow Indians are having to endure," she said.

The UPA chairperson added that economic crisis is worsening by the day. "The GDP growth, is at best only 5 per cent during the first quarter. It is not  just a six year low. This signifies deep crisis.  This is a sign of weak demand, low consumption, no investment and, as a result no jobs," she said.

She termed the unemployment levels as most disturbing and accused the Centre of losing nine million jobs due to policies such as demonetisation and "a messed up GST." She said the attitude of the Centre was clear when it decided to increase the prices of gas cylinder by "an enormous  Rs. 77 per cylinder about 10 per cent in one go."

Gandhi said the rural economy has collapsed with growth rate hardly of 2 per cent in the first quarter. "They (farmers) were promised that their income would be doubled in a short period but are left to battling a deceleration in wages while prices   have shot up. This perhaps explains why the sale of FMCG goods in rural India, has recently hit a 7-year low," the Raebareli MP said.

The Congress president said the Centre is now ready to deal a body blow to the country by signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) – the regional free trade agreement of 16 Asian countries. "This will result in untold hardship for our farmers, shopkeepers, small & medium enterprises with serious repercussions for the people. We can ill afford to become a dumping ground for products – including agricultural produce from foreign countries," she said.

"No sector of the economy has been left untouched by the slowdown - automobiles, banks, manufacturing, agriculture-  of growth are all floundering. All the economic indicators point towards a slowdown that is likely to be prolonged and more entrenched in days ahead," she said.

Published on November 02, 2019
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