Congress blames Centre for wage loss, inflation

Blaming Prime Minister Modi for the decline in worker wages, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a statement that multiple data sources were unanimous in showing that workers could buy less today than they could 10 years ago.

Updated - April 21, 2024 10:22 pm IST

Published - April 21, 2024 09:54 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

The Congress on April 21 alleged that workers suffered unprecedented wage loss under the Narendra Modi regime in the last ten years. The party said the purchasing power of the workers had also decreased due to slow wage growth and back-breaking inflation.

Blaming Prime Minister Modi for the decline in worker wages, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a statement that multiple data sources were unanimous in showing that workers could buy less today than they could 10 years ago. “A combination of slow wage growth and back-breaking inflation has caused an unprecedented decline in real wages (wages adjusted for price rise),” he said, citing the Labour Bureau’s Wage Rate Index. “Between 2014 and 2023, real wages for labourers have stagnated, with clear declines in real wages in Modi-II,” he said.

Quoting the Ministry of Agriculture’s ‘Agricultural Statistics at a Glance’, the former Minister said that under the ten years of the UPA Government, the real wages for agricultural labourers grew at 6.8% each year. “Under PM Modi, real wages for agricultural labourers declined by -1.3% each year,” he said.

He said the Periodic Labour Force Survey series reported that average real earnings over time had stagnated between 2017 and 2022 across all employment types — salaried workers, casual workers, and self-employed workers. “With slowing consumption growth and deepening fear, the private sector no longer has incentive to invest in the economy. Investment in India has dropped to historic low levels, threatening our long-term growth,” he said.

He said investment as a percentage of the GDP came down in the last ten years and manufacturing as a percentage of the GDP also fell from 16.5% in UPA to 14.5% under the Modi regime. “Together, all these factors are dragging down economic growth and causing an unemployment crisis,” he said and claimed that the UPA performed strongly on real wages for workers, private-sector investment, and consumption growth, enabling 7.5% real GDP growth rates, compared to the Modi government’s 5.8% average. “On June 4th, when the INDIA coalition comes to power, we will return India to a higher growth,” he added.

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