Economy had been falling for eight quarters even before the pandemic, says Supriya Shrinate, Congress national spokesperson
GN Bureau | November 26, 2020
Coming down heavily on the government for economic de-growth and job losses, Congress national spokesperson Supriya Shrinate has said that even before the Covid pandemic struck, the economy had been falling down for eight consecutive quarters.
The former journalist said that while the world’s economy was rising, India’s growth rate was dropping. She cited the example of media industry where mass layoffs have taken place for technicians, cameraperson, producers, production assistants, journalists and others, and said, “These people are not going to find jobs. Who is responsible for this ruin? Who is responsible for the catastrophe we have embarked the Indian economy on?”
Shrinate was in in a live conversation with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now, on Thursday as part of the Visionary Talk series held by the public policy and governance analysis platform.
Watch the video:
To watch this and previous episodes of the series, click here: www.governancenow.com/Visionary-Talks-Series
Shrinate said that the Indian economy began to slip because of inefficiency, incompetence and decision-making of this government, and from FY 2017 to FY 2020 the GDP growth rate halved. From 8.2% growth it slipped to 4.3% in FY 2020 and the economy will contact further in FY 2021. “Even before Covid, the Indian economy kept falling down for eight consecutive quarters. While the world was growing our growth rate was dropping,” she said.
She added that even before the pandemic, the unemployment rate had hit a 45-year high due to demonetisation and hurriedly imposed GST which led to economic ruin. Economic opportunities, job creation, self-employment and wages are coming down.
“Besides the GDP growth, GDP volume is also shrinking. The concept of ‘ease of doing business’ is Mumbai- and Delhi-centric and with the World Bank too saying that the ratings system is flawed, you are chasing the wrong post,” she said.
While speaking on the government’s second tranche of Rs 20 lakh crore Atmanirbhar package which it said is 10% of India’s GDP, Shrinate said that when along with senior Congress leader with P Chidambaram, various researchers, global observers, economists and even government officials sat down together to calculate, they realised that the fresh expenditure outlay was in fact only Rs 1.86 lakh crore, which is less than 1% of the GDP. Everything else was the refurbished union budget announced in February 2020.
She said the government was pushing for loans when people are uncertain about their jobs and wages could be reduced to half. “Will those people take loans? Out of the government’s allocated Rs 3 lakh crore loans to MSMEs, the reason why half of this money is still lying with the government is that people don’t know how they will repay these loans in current economic situation.”
Instead, she said, the government should boost consumption which will increase production and lead to employment of more people and job creation; otherwise economic revival will only be a pipe dream.
While responding to a question on the UP government clearing a draft ordinance against forced religious conversions and the so-called ‘love jihad’, Shrinate said that there are existing laws against forced conversion. She also mentioned that in 1968 the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh had come out with a law on forced conversion in case there was any attempt to entice a person through money, opportunities etc. Moreover, there are at least 10 sections of the Indian Penal Code that can be enforced if there is forced conversion or any trace of proof that a marriage was done by forced conversion. So, the UP government needs to explain why it could not rely on existing laws.
She argued that the Yogi Adityanath government was going ahead with the ordinance, “because the word ‘love jihad’ is going to polarise [communities] and denotes what you want this society to be. It is a blatant, naked, shameless and demeaning attempt to polarize.” She added that as a young Indian she finds it ridiculous and belittling that two consenting individuals cannot decide about their marriage.
Citing the example of the Allahabad high court judgment earlier in the month wherein the court said that right to live with a person of his or her choice irrespective of religion professed by them is intrinsic to the right to life and personal liberty, Shrinate said the Tanishq advertisement which had to be withdrawn was in fact reflective of the plurality of Indian culture and a celebration of motherhood.
The Maharashtra government has ordered a probe into the tragic incident of oxygen leak at the Zakir Hussain Hospital in Nashik district, in which 24 Covid-19 patients on critical life support have died. Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray expressed grief over the tragic incident and announced
Refuting any political instability in the state, Jayant Patil, Maharashtra cabinet minister and state president of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), has said the government is very stable and there are no differences among allies. The senior leader accused the opposition of ‘playing po
Amid a virulent second wave, as Mumbai scrambles for hospital beds, the civic authorities have said there was no need for panic since 3,685 beds were still available in the city for Covid-19 patients as of Tuesday evening. Also, after a surge there has been a decline with new cases coming down to 7,000-8,0
At a time when the country is fighting the virulent second wave of Covid-19 with daily cases upwards of 2,50,000, testing is of critical importance, but government-run labs are not only delaying reports, in one case there was a goof-up and a negative report turned to positive within a day. A
A political war erupted between the centre and Maharashtra over supply of essentials including medicines and oxygen as the state struggles to control the raging Covid-19 amidst scarce health infrastructure. Maharashtra has seen a consistent rise in Covid infections and recorded 67,123 new c
Countering the opposition BJP’s allegations of corruption in the procurement of Remdesivir, a critical anti-viral injection often prescribed for Covid-19 patients, the BrihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) has clarified that its decision to procure the drug was aimed at saving lives even if