Faced with a sharp decline in India’s economic growth rate, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday blamed the Congress party for the sudden dip in the growth three years after Narendra Modi has been the prime minister.
Speaking to reporters, Jaitley said, “The system we inherited was weak in terms of credibility mainly due to corruption and indecisiveness.”
BJP’s critics have always accused the party of behaving like an opposition even when it power as its ministers have often been seen blaming their predecessors for their poor performance.
Jaitley said that several factors including the global situation were responsible for decline in GDP growth to 6.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016-17, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today, dismissing suggestions that it was on account of demonetisation.
The minister further said some slowdown was visible even prior to demonetisation of Rs 500/1000 currency notes announced by the government on November 8 last year.
“Seven-eight per cent growth is fairly reasonable level of growth and very good by global standard and reasonable by Indian standard,” Jaitley said while addressing media on completion of three years of the Modi government.
According to GDP data released yesterday, growth rate slipped to 6.1 per cent in the January-March quarter and 7.1 per cent, the lowest in the three years, during 2016-17.
Referring to the challenges, he said the major ones include resolving the issue of bad loans in the banking sector and encouraging private sector investment.
On privatisation of ailing national carrier Air India, Jaitley said Niti Aayog has already given its recommendations to the Civil Aviation Ministry to explore various options.
“It is for the Civil Aviation Ministry to explore various options,” he added.
The government data had also revealed that the growth of eight core sectors declined to 2.5% in April mainly due to lower coal, crude oil and cement productions, revealed government data.
The growth rate of eight infrastructure sectors — coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity — was 8.7% in April last year. As per the government data released on Wednesday, coal, crude oil and cement production recorded negative growth of 3.8%, 0.6% and 3.7%, respectively.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had warned in January that the note ban decision by the Centre’s Narendra Modi government will have adverse impact on India’s GDP.
“You will see there will be a very significant adverse effect on the country’s GDP,” he had said.
Singh, who spoke in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Rajya Sabha, said the decision will result in decline of GDP by 2 per cent, it being an “under-estimate”.
“These measures convinced me that the way the scheme has been implemented, it’s a monumental management failure. And in fact, it is a case of organised loot and legalised plunder,” he had said.
— Desi Devil (@iDesiDevil) June 1, 2017