Millennium Post

Economic Survey 'completely disconnected' with reality: Cong

New Delhi: The Congress on Friday hit out at the government on the Economic Survey, saying it is "completely disconnected" with the reality as the country is facing difficult times on the economic front and it is not bothered about the problems faced by the common man.

Congress spokesperson Rajeev Gowda also attacked the government on its "thalinomics" concept given by Finance Ministry's Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy V Subramanian.

He also accused the government of "fudging data" and committing a "fraud" as the numbers presented by it are not believable by the world.

"Thanks to monumental mismanagement by the Modi government, the Indian economy is going through very difficult times. Yet the Economic Survey (ESI) 2019-20 released today is completely disconnected from this grim reality. But this is not surprising as all of the Modi government's chief economic advisers have ignored the ground realities in all these years," Gowda said.

He said the CEA begins economic survey by singing the praises of wealth, drawing more upon historical references than economic theory.

He added that there was lack of attention to inequality in the survey, in which there is no prescription to revive demand, boost investment and create jobs.

"It is important to stop dwelling in an imaginary past and to pay attention to the realities of India's economy in the last 100 years," he said. Taking a swipe at 'Thalinomics' concept, he said, "'Thali' will soon be 'Khali'".

"Thalinomics is another obfuscation. The claims of affordable thalis are misleading especially after the NSS consumption survey pointed out how food consumption has reduced, we are facing fears of rising poverty and malnutrition. What we have are shrinking thalis," he said. "The thalinomics sets stage for an attack on the poor of India," he said.

Gowda also said the growth projections are erroneous as projections of 6-6.5 pc made in this survey are not credible. "One look at last year's projections of 7pc growth versus the actual below 5pc reality tells us we need to be prepared for even worse fiscal year in FY 2021. Optimism is welcome but the Economic Survey needs to have realistic believable projections," he said.

He also noted that this survey certainly prepares the defence and ground for higher fiscal slippage in the budget on February 1 and a higher fiscal deficit.

The Congress leader also said that the survey talks about shifting the focus to 'Assemble in India' as an alternative to 'Make in India'. "This is a clear admission of failure of the catchy slogan of 'Make in India'. This government did not bring in real reform on the ground to make manufacturing growth a reality, he said.

Congress spokesperson Gaurav Vallabh said the government has not taken any concrete steps to end tax terrorism. He said the government should have written a chapter in the economic survey on the noteban and wrong implementation of GST, then people would have understood the measures better.

Another spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said the party would welcome any relief given to the income tax payees, but demanded more rationalisation of indirect taxes. She said India has to grow at 9 per cent and investment rates have to be 38 per cent to achieve the USD 5-trillion economy dream to come true by 2024.

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