Government sounds pessimistic about economy: Congress

New Delhi: Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram asserted on behalf of the Congress that "the government, speaking through the economic survey, is pessimistic about the economy."

In a quick analysis of the survey tabled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament that analyses the economy in the past one year, Chidambaram said there are no growth projections sector wise, but "only a bland statement that growth of the economy expected to be 7 per cent in 2019-20.

He said the closest in terms of the outlook for 2019-20 can be found in Volume-2, Chapter 02, but "none of these is positive or encouraging."

Five issues flagged in the survey are: (1) slowing growth, (2) shortfall in revenue, (3) finding resources without compromising the fiscal deficit target, (4) impact of oil prices on the current account and (5) recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission on central government finances.

Congress chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala elaborated the Congress reaction at length on the Economic Survey saying "it is truer than the multiple tall claims of the BJP Government, even though it attempts to whitewash the massive failures and gross economic mismanagement of the BJP Government in the past five years."

He said the Economic Survey only reflects part of the deepening economic uncertainties and mismanagement inflicted by the BJP on India and "exposes BJP’s hyperbole on Economy -- No Jobs, No Investment, No Growth -- three Tiers on which BJP’s economic mismanagement rests.

Endorsing Chidambaram that the survey is "pessimistic" about the economy, he said it makes a feeble attempt to wake up the ruling party from its deep slumber of inaction on the economic front.

He regretted that there is no roadmap in Economic Survey to deal with the massive unemployment problem, except token phrases like "supporting dwarf, or smaller firms, to create jobs."

He said the survey predicts 7 per cent GDP growth in 2019-20 but without any foundation to sustain it -- no sector-wise projections and when tghe economic growth is atg a 5-year low.

INVESTMENT: Although the Economic Survey proclaims that private investment is the "key driver of Growth, Jobs, Exports and Demand, the grim reality is completely the opposite as fresh investments plunged to a 15-year low, private sector projects stalled at an all-time high rate of 26%, private investment in manufacturing sector suffers the most.

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