India looking at economic crisis, says Congress

New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) The Congress on Wednesday slammed the Narendra Modi government over its economic performance in the past 20 months, saying demand was not picking, merchandise exports have fallen for 13 consecutive months and the country was looking at an “economic crisis”.

Congress spokesperson Deepender Hooda said the Sensex was testing the 24,000 mark and was at a lower level compared to its level when Modi took over as prime minister in May 2014.

“At the end of the BJP’s one-third term in office, the nation is looking at a full-blown economic crisis and every day, we get more data that indicates that we are struggling to find the bottom of bad news,” he said.

Hooda said the RBI’s financial stability report points out that demand in the Indian economy was not picking up.

“India is a demand driven economy. Falling demand spells trouble for the overall economy,” he said.

Hooda said there seems to be very little growth in private investment and there were pointers to a slow down in the economy in 2016.

“Exports have been falling for the last 13 months and there is little government intervention. The rupee is close to Rs.68 per dollar, a significant drop since the Modi government came to office,” Hooda said.

He said the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) has contracted by 3.2 percent in November from a year earlier.

“The data clearly indicates that the ‘Make in India’ campaign has remained a slogan,” he said.

Hooda said foreign investors have taken out more than Rs.25,000 crore from the stock market in the financial year so far.

“FII outflow from the markets in 2016 stands nearly $700 million and is getting worse by the day,” he said.

Hooda asked the government why petrol prices have come down “by just 17 percent when Indian crude basket is down by 73 percent”.

He also asked the government if it had an action plan to check inflation.

Referring to “rural distress”, he said latest data from the Labour Bureau shows that rural wages have registered an average annual growth of 3.8 percent this year, “the lowest since July 2005”.

He also referred to the rural employment guarantee act and said that average days of employment per household and the number of households which completed 100 days of employment had come down under the rule of the National Democratic Alliance government.

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