War of words over state of economy–The Telegraph–11.03.2018

The state of the economy came in for sharp criticism from the Congress-led Opposition, which blamed the government’s handling of the economy for the fall in savings rate, the slowdown in investment, mounting bad debt and a low job creation.
Initiating a short duration discussion in the Rajya Sabha, Congress leader Anand Sharma said, “Contrary to the claims by PM Narendra Modi, the economy is not galloping but a struggling one.
“Why hasn’t the Prime Minister or this government released details on the claims made on demonetisation? Why figures on black money were not revealed?” he asked.
He said the the four engines of the economy – investment, jobs, exports and credit have fallen.
“The national investment rate has fallen more than 7 per cent to 27 per cent. National savings rate, or people’s deposits in banks, has fallen by another 4-5 per cent,” Sharma said .
He said the average growth rate of the GDP in our (Congress’s) tenure was 7.8 per cent and job creation was the highest in the manufacturing sector during that decade. “But, today it is a very dismal situation.”
“We left merchandise exports at close to $320 billion. Now, for the last three years, it is below $300 billion.
“You cannot attribute this fall to the global situation because trade has grown globally,” he said.
Jaitley’s reply
Replying to the criticisms Jaitley said: “Global slowdown is the main reason behind the weakness in the economy.”
“India under the UPA had started losing credibility with large fiscal slippages, while the Modi government has brought down the 4.6 per cent fiscal deficit inherited from the UPA government. Today we are talking only about marginal fiscal slippage.”
“Inflation in the NDA regime has touched 4 per cent compared with 10 per cent to 11 per cent in the UPA regime,” Jaitley said.
He said the government had made larger allocations for several infrastructure projects and taxation has been rationalised to benefit SMEs.
“When you (UPA) left, rating agencies had placed India among fragile five… within three years the government would have done something good, that’s why the global agency has upgraded its rating,” he added, referring to the Moody’s upgrade.

via War of words over state of economy

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