File Photo
File Photo

New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday sought a white paper by the Modi government on the state of economy, accusing it of emptying surplus reserves of Rs 1.76 lakh crore with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) meant for war or emergency, pushing the country to bankruptcy. Its leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted that "stealing from RBI won't work -- it's like stealing a Band-Aid from the dispensary & sticking it on a gunshot wound, while its senior leader Anand Sharma told a Press conference here that the government forcing the RBI to transfer Rs 1.76 lakh crore shows the worst-ever economic emergency.

The reactions came a day after the RBI's central board decided to transfer this much money in dividend and surplus reserves to the government. Sharma said: "India is in a deep financial crisis, the economy in shambles, all indicators of development low and India's GDP is continuously falling."

Rahul said: "PM & FM are clueless about how to solve their self-created economic disaster." Congress chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala noted in a tweet: "Is it a sheer coincidence that the Rs 1.76L cr borrowed from RBI matches with the 'Missing' amount in the budget calculations?" He asked: "Is this fiscal prudence or fiscal hara-kiri?" Wondering if this money will be used to save the BJP's crony friends, Surjewala tweeted that BJP has finished RBI's credibility, converting 'R' in RBI from "Reserve" to "Ravaged." he dded: "Contingency reserve of RBI meant for extreme financial emergencies and war-like situations is being used by BJP govt to bury its monumental mess on economic front. Anand Sharma slammed the government for deciding that RBI's excess, known as contingency risk buffer (CRB) be given to government. "No central bank hands over its risk buffer to the government. But RBI, on the recommendation of (Bimal) Jalan committee, decided to hand over Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the government in one go, violating the committee's recommendation to transfer the amount in instalments over 4-5 years." He said the difference between the government budget and the economic survey was Rs 1.7 lakh crore and the government has now taken Rs 1.76 lakh crore from the RBI. "The government made a wrong budget, it's in loss.

That's why they snatched RBI's money and pushed the country towards an economic emergency," he said, adding that it all happened due to the mismanagement of economy. Sharma, the deputy leader of Congress in the Rajya Sabha, said the last quarter of 2018-19 showed an increased gross domestic product (GDP) at 5.8 per cent.

But the current financial year's first quarter for which final figures would be out on August 30 was projected to be at 5.6 per cent, the "least" in seven years. He said the index of industrial production was at 2 per cent and for manufacturing, at 1.2 per cent while the Indian Rupee has lost 4 per cent of its value and is currently Asia's worst performing currency. He said the unemployment was at 8.2 per cent while in reality it was more than 20 per cent.

"Any economist can verify that. Industries are in danger, be it automobile sector or others. People are not even getting loans and hence demand is low," he added.

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