People hit by ‘double whammy’ of low growth, high inflation: Congress on third quarter data

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By PTI

NEW DELHI: Attacking the government over the state of the economy, the Congress on Friday said the people have been hit by the double whammy of low growth and high inflation for which the Modi government’s “gross mismanagement” is responsible.

The attack came after the Indian economy, which had been contracting for two quarters in a row, recorded a positive growth of 0.4 per cent in the October-December quarter, mainly due to good performance by farm, services and construction sectors, official data showed on Friday.

Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the third quarter GDP data proves yet again that fault lines in the Indian economy are more visible than ever before.

The economy has grown by a mere 0.4 per cent in the third quarter of financial year 2020-21, which is far below estimation, he said.

“What continues to be an area of concern, however, is the advance estimates for the entire financial year. Central Statistics Office (CSO) has lowered GDP growth rate for FY2020-21 from its previous estimated minus 7.7% to now minus 8%,” Surjewala said.

It is also important to point out that Q1 GDP has now been revised lower to minus 24.4 per cent from the previous reported contraction of minus 23.9 per cent, he said in a statement.

“Clearly, the ill planned and poorly executed lockdown took a huge toll on the economy, which was already suffering from the twin body-blows of demonetisation and the ill-conceived GST,” the Congress spokesperson alleged.

A detailed analysis of the GDP numbers also proves the misplaced and irrational exuberance in India’s stock markets, he said.

Pointing out that private consumption expenditure at Rs 21.2 lakh crore is down by 2.4 per cent on a year-on-year basis, Surjewala claimed that it is clear that while demand for goods is picking up, the demand for services, which is the biggest contributor to the GDP, is trailing and is unlikely to revive for a few quarters in the future.

“Contrary to claims, the Modi government has spent a lot less than what is needed to revive the Indian economy. Public administration in Q3 has contracted by minus 1.5 per cent,” he said.

“Q3 GDP growth numbers carry a big lesson for the insensitive Modi government. Agriculture, which has grown at 3.9 per cent in Q3, has continued to hold steady and which is why the government should stop treating the farmers so cruelly and insensitively,” the Congress leader said It should listen to the woes of millions of farmers agitating for justice and resolve their plight by rolling back the three “anti-agriculture black laws”, Surjewala said.

“We have truly been hit by the double whammy of low growth and high inflation for which gross mismanagement and the unpardonable failure of leadership of Modi government is solely responsible. Let us hope that an ignorant PM and FM finally realise the truth,” he added.



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