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P Chidambaram Slams BJP Govt For Economic Slowdown, Calls Job Creation 'Biggest Failure'

AASTHA SINGAL | 0
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| January 6 , 2018 , 19:12 IST

Former Union minister P Chidambaram has never shied away from expressing his disappointment in the ruling party and the various economic steps it is taking towards the nation's development. The leader now feels that his worst fears have come true with the imminent economic slowdown.

Recently, the Central Statistics Office revealed some estimates predicting the gross domestic product (GDP) of the Indian economy in this fiscal year ahead of the annual budget presentation and Chidambaram has now taken PM Modi for the fallen figures.

In a statement issued by the Congress leader on Saturday, he said, "The recent social discontent, therefore, can be a direct manifestation of this economic slowdown, which the government was conveniently hiding. It is time the government stops making tall claims and bends down to do solid work."

Chidambaram claims that the fiscal deficit is likely to overshoot as per the budget estimates of 3.2 percent of the GDP and added, "no amount of sugar coating, false bravado and rhetoric along with headlines management can conceal the stark reality".

"Our fears and warnings have proved true. GDP growth in 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 (est) is 8.0, 7.1 and 6.5. These numbers prove there is a slowdown. A decline in economic activity and growth means loss of millions of jobs," he said.

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"New project announcements have declined, fresh investment is low, the informal sector is still reeling under the ill-effects of demonetisation, job creation is abysmal, exports are plunging, manufacturing sector growth has slowed down, the agriculture sector has been hit hard and rural despair is abundant.

"The 'agriculture, forestry and fishing' sector is likely to show a growth of 2.1 percent in its GVA during 2017-18, as against the previous year's growth rate of 4.9 percent. This was 1.7 percent and 2.3 percent respectively in the last two quarters," he said, adding that GVA at basic prices for 2017-18 from manufacturing sector is estimated to grow by 4.6 percent as compared to 7.9 percent in 2016-17.

"In a double whammy, retail inflation soared to a 15-month high of 4.88 percent in November and industrial output slowed to a three-month low of 2.2 percent in October," he added.

"New project announcements by Indian companies touched a 13-year low of Rs 77,000 crore in the December quarter, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy", he said. 

"The manufacturing sector has seen the sharpest fall in new project announcements. Job creation remains the single biggest failure of this BJP Government. In a slowdown, how will jobs be created? And how will the promised 2 crore jobs per year be created?"

"A dispassionate assessment reveals serious weaknesses in the Indian economy," he said. Chidambaram added that the Bank credit growth is extremely sluggish which doesn't bode well for the economy.