NEW DELHI: Hours after Union minister Arun Jaitley claimed that the Indian economy was doing well, the Congress hit back, saying that growth had, in fact, slid over the past four years.
“Under the NDA government the economy had slid down over the past four years. The UPA, in fact, had left a strong system which has sustained all this while,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said.
The Congress attack came hours after Jaitley posted a blog to claim the economy was doing well.
“The fourth quarter results of GDP data showed a phenomenal 7.7 per cent growth rate and has established India firmly as the fastest growing global economy. This trend, according to experts, is likely to continue for the next few years,” said Jaitley.
“With structural reforms like demonetisation, the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax and the enforcement of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, we had two challenging quarters. Those who predicted a two per cent decline in GDP growth have been conclusively proved wrong,” he said, in a reference to former PM Manmohan Singh, who had described the note ban as “organised loot and plunder.”
The minister’s blog came a day after PM Modi urged chief ministers to help him push economic growth to double digits at the NITI Aayog meeting on Sunday.
“PM Modi must answer some fundamental questions about the economy under his tenure. Why has the revised GDP series still not been put out in the public domain? Is it not a fact that Modi’s government is not releasing the data based on new base year because UPA’s performance was better than NDA,” said Tewari.
“Is it not a fact that the current account deficit for the current fiscal has widened to such an extent that international financial institutions are raising serious questions about it,” he said.
Slamming the PM for failing to provide the promised two crore jobs every year, Tewari said, “In 2009 alone, after the global economic meltdown, the UPA II government had created 1 million jobs. But this government has hardly created 2.5 lakh jobs per year.”
Taking a dig at Jaitley, who is recuperating from a kidney transplant, the Congress leader wondered who was steering the crucial finance ministry.
“Will PM Modi clarify who is the Finance Minister today? The finance ministry website states one name and PMO website states a different name. During economic crisis, not having clarification regarding this reflects a sad state on governance,” Tewari said.