‘Indian Economy Is Struggling,’ Says Anand Sharma, Irks Jaitley

Responding to the allegation, Jaitley claimed that despite structural reforms, the economy is growing at a good pace

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Congress leader Anand Sharma and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley were at odds during a debate on ‘short-term discussion on the state of economy’ in the Rajya Sabha. Sharma launched a stinging attack on the government, claiming that the Indian economy is ‘struggling’.

Indian economy, contrary to the claim made by Indian Prime Minister and Finance Minister, is not a galloping economy but a gasping economy, a struggling economy.
Anand Sharma, Congress Leader

Sharma added that there has been a regular decline in the parameters that indicate the growth of Indian economy. He listed out a number of points that he claimed highlighted the government’s failure at handling the economy.

The national investment rate has fallen by more than 7 percent. There is a sharp increase in debt-to-GDP ratio. When we were in power, merchandise export was close to $320 billion. For the last three years, it has been below $300 billion. If your exports have not grown, the only inference is that manufacturing jobs have been lost. Almost 40 crore people are unemployed.
Anand Sharma, Congress Leader

Sharma also questioned PM Modi and Jaitley’s claim that India is the ‘fastest growing economy’.

China’s economy is five times bigger than India’s. Their economy is worth $11 trillion, while ours is around $2.3 trillion. So, if their economy grows at 6.6 percent and a $2.3 trillion economy grows near 6 percent, can any economist or mathematician explain as to how can we be the fastest growing economy?
Anand Sharma, Congress Leader

The senior Congress leader also alleged that this government is not telling the country whether the four broad objectives of the government behind demonetisation were achieved or not, and how much black money was deposited in the banks.

He also criticised the government of ‘hasty implementation’ of GST. He said that despite Congress’ advice to have a three-month test run before nation wide implementation of GST, PM Modi imposed the tax at midnight like a celebration.

Responding to the criticism, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley assured that the positive impact of the ‘structural economic reforms’ being taken by the government would be seen in medium to long term.

Countering the charges, Jaitley mentioned containing of inflation, recapitalisation of public sector banks and GST rollout as major policy initiatives of the Narendra Modi-led government.

On concerns being raised over GDP growth decline post- noteban, the minister said:

For the first time in history, for three consecutive years we were the fastest growing economy. In the fourth year, even after economic growth slowed down due to these structural reforms, the IMF and World Bank claim that we are likely to be the second highest by 0.1 percent.
Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister

(With inputs from PTI)

Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim

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