Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan 3.0 package an attempt to suppress RBI’s gloomy forecast: Congress

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Congress on Thursday claimed that the third tranche of measures under the Atma Nirbhar 3.0 package, announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, was an attempt to ‘suppress’ the analysis by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that the country’s economy was entering into the recession mode.

Also read: Centre rolls out fresh ₹1.19 lakh-crore stimulus package

While former Congress president Rahul Gandhi blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies for the country experiencing a recession for the first time in its history, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram accused the government of “managing the headlines and deflecting the attention from economy.”

Mr. Chidambaram predicted that the remaining quarters of the current financial year will see negative growth rates and suggested a four-point programme to steer the economy out of its current state.

“India has entered into recession for the first time in history. Mr. Modi's actions have turned India's strength into its weakness,” Mr Gandhi said on Twitter and cited a news report which claimed the RBI had forecast that the GDP would contract by 8.6 per cent in the July-September quarter.

If the economy contracts for two consecutive quarters, then it falls under the technical definition of a recession.

Also read: How to pay for the stimulus

“I am afraid the remaining quarters of 2020-21 will also record negative growth rates. It is therefore surprising that the Finance Minister should quote the RBI as predicting that the economy will register a positive growth rate in the third quarter. Nearly one and a half months of the third quarter is already over and there are no signs that the growth rate will turn positive in the third quarter,” the former Finance Minister said at a virtual press conference along with his party colleague Jairam Ramesh.

“The economy continues to be in dire straits and the government does not have a plan to revive the economy. On the other hand, it is busy deflecting the attention of the people from the economy and managing the headlines about the economy,” Mr. Chidambaram added.

He suggested fair and remunerative prices for farmers, putting cash into the hands of the poor people who lost their livelihood, creation of more jobs in the formal sector and making more funds available to the State government.

Also read: Finance Minister’s stimulus concedes failure of ₹20 lakh crore Atma Nirbhar package: Congress

“Unless more money is devolved on the States, the States will curtail capital expenditure in 2020-21 and the revival of the economy this year will be a pious wish,” he said

Adding to his observations, Mr. Ramesh said the government’s latest announcement was not likely to help the economy in the current financial year.

“Today, big announcements were made, but what will be its impact on trade and business, especially on MSMEs [medium small and mircro enterprises], only time will tell. But this was an attempt by the Finance Minister to suppress the RBI’s analysis of economic recession and she has announced a Diwali Dhamaka in the form of Atma Nirbhar 3.0,” Mr. Ramesh alleged.

Separately, in a Facebook post, CPI MP Binoy Viswam said,“Expertise of RBI says recession. Rhetoric of FM talks about active recovery. Who to believe? Share markets trusted RBI. Package is a hoax.”

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 6:51:16 AM |

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