AICC general secretary Ajay Maken addressing a press conference at MPCC office in Bhopal on Wednesday.
AICC general secretary Ajay Maken addressing a press conference at MPCC office in Bhopal on Wednesday.
FP Photo

BHOPAL: The UPA government pulled people out of poverty, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led regime reversed it and pushed back crores of people back in Below Poverty Line (BPL) category, alleged AICC general secretary Ajay Maken.

 "The Congress-led UPA government brought 27 crore people out of the BPL category with great efforts, but the present regime has pushed 23 crore of them back into poverty," said the Congress leader while addressing mediapersons here on Wednesday.

"Two crore people have lost their jobs and 97 per cent people are getting reduced salaries. People were forced to withdraw Rs 1.25 lakh crore from PPF accounts," Maken said.

The Congress leader raised the concern over the inflation and also rising fuel prices. He asked the government to increase the production of the petroleum products and also to bring the products under the GST, to check the inflation.

The economy was already in a bad shape before the pandemic as the growth rate had come down to 4.1 per cent in FY20 from 8.2 per cent in FY17 due to demonetization, erroneous implementation of the Goods and Services Tax and wrong policies of the Modi government, he said.

The Congress leader also claimed that the prices of petrol and diesel were raised 66 times between April 1, 2021 and July 12, 2021, and the government earned a profit of "more than Rs 25 lakh crore" from excise duty in the last seven years.

In seven years, excise duty on petrol was increased by 247 per cent and that on diesel by 794 per cent, he claimed. Through these taxes, the Union government is pocketing about Rs 4.2 lakh crore per year, he further said.

According to Maken, the NDA government is the first government, which imposed GST on agriculture, “On fertiliser 5 per cent, on pesticide 18 per cent and on agriculture equipment 12 per cent tax have been imposed. The cost of agriculture production has increased to Rs 20,000 per hectare and this is causing inflation in the market,” he said.

Responding to a query, Maken said there is no demand for goods in the market but the prices are increasing. “This is happening for the first time in history,” he added.

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