Economic slowdown unprecedented, NDA has become 'NPA': Sharad Pawar

Pawar said the NDA should take a lesson from former Prime Minister and Congress veteran Manmohan Singh on how to put the economy back on track.

Published: 07th November 2019 09:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th November 2019 09:15 AM   |  A+A-

Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar

Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar (Photo | PTI)


MUMBAI: The NDA government is a "non- performing asset" (NPA) for the country, NCP president Sharad Pawar said on Wednesday as he attacked the BJP-led regime over an economic slowdown.

Pawar said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government should take a lesson from former Prime Minister and Congress veteran Manmohan Singh on how to put the economy back on track.

If the government did not do so, the people of the country will teach it a lesson, the former Union minister warned.

Terming the slowdown as "unprecedented", Pawar said it is for the first time in independent India that a stable government has created an "atmosphere of uncertainties" in policy-making and implementation with unnecessary adventurism.

"The NDA government is an NPA for the country. Instead of accepting the facts and acknowledging advices by renowned economists like Manmohan Singh ji and Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee, it has engaged in "jumlebazi" (gimmicks) and is treating the slowdown as a temporary sign and distracting from core issues," Pawar said in a press note.

The Rajya Sabha MP categorically said the slowdown in India is "not synchronised" with global economic crisis.

Pawar alleged the "recession" in the country is the impact of "concentration of political power in two hands and concentration of wealth in few hands".

He, however, did not name the "two" persons.

"The UPA government had successfully revived the economy when the economic recession hit the global economy."

"The NDA government should take a lesson from Manmohan Singh ji, else the people of India will teach them a lesson," warned the NCP leader, who was a minister in the 2004-14 Congress-led regime.

Pawar alleged demonetisation (2016) and "poorly executed" Goods and Services Tax (GST) roll out (2017) gave a "heavy jolt" to the economy "sending jarring shock waves through every sector".

He said there was a decline in gross domestic product (GDP) growth and in the index of core industries.

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Pawar noted rural distress as being one of the major causes of the "recession", while the automobile sector, too, he added, is in "complete doldrums".

He said small and medium enterprises across Maharashtra are bearing the brunt of the slowdown and realty sector, too, stands crippled due to demonetisation, GST and Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA).

The veteran politician said 21 public sector banks are starved of funds.

There is an urgent need to infuse more than Rs 2 lakh crore for the recapitalisation of PSU lenders, but the government lacks funds, he added.

The NCP president noted the banking sector, "mostly public sector banks", is burdened with Rs 10 lakh crore NPAs.

"PMC Bank depositors are crying for justice," Pawar said, adding some of them have already died of shock after a mega fraud at the cooperative lender came to light in September.

Rahul, Priyanka attack government on unemployment

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday also took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying going abroad and proclaiming that "everything is fine" does not mean that everything will be fine.

"Going abroad and saying 'sab changa si' (everything is all right)' does not mean that everything will be fine," she said in a tweet in Hindi.

She also posted a media report on Infosys terminating services of non-performing employees as part of its involuntary attrition.

"There is no news coming from anywhere of increase in employment rate or new jobs being created. Big corporates have started firing people. Those who say 'sab change si' are now 'chup si' (absolutely quiet). Why?)" the Congress general secretary said.

Prime Minister Modi, in his address at mega 'Howdy, Modi' event in September in US, said, "If you ask me 'Howdy, Modi', my answer is: Everything is great in India.

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too attacked the Prime Minister on the issue of unemployment, saying the "Modi minar" was racing upwards at a breathtaking pace and terming it as a monument dedicated to "incompetence".

"With each passing month the Modi Minar races upwards at a breathtaking pace; a monument dedicated to incompetence," he said on Twitter, using the hashtag "ModiMandiAurMusibat".

Gandhi also attached a bar chart of the unemployment rate in the country, making a comparison between the rates in September (7.16 per cent) and October (8.5 per cent).

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