New vision needed, says Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addressing a press conference, in New Delhi on Wednesday, 01/09/2021.   | Photo Credit: SANDEEP SAXENA

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday attacked the Narendra Modi government over inflation and the repeated increase in fuel prices by asserting that “GDP growth” for the government meant “increase in Gas, Diesel and Petrol prices”.

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Gandhi said the country is facing structural problems, much like the “catastrophic situation” in 1991, and needs a new vision and approach to take the economy out of its crisis.

“The Government has a new concept of GDP — an increase in GDP means an increase in gas, diesel and petrol prices. Over the last seven years, they have earned ₹23 lakh crore from the increase in diesel, petrol and LPG gas. And every single person is affected by this,” Mr. Gandhi told reporters.

“In 2014, when we [the United Progressive Alliance or UPA government] left office, LPG gas price was ₹410 per cylinder; today, it is at ₹885 per cylinder. That is a 116 % increase. Petrol was ₹71.51 per litre; it is now ₹101.34 per litre, a 42% increase. Diesel was ₹57.28 a litre but now it is ₹88.77, a 55% increase,” he added.

The Congress leader said that although an argument is forwarded that oil prices are linked to international crude prices, the current crude price of $71 a barrel is much lower than $105 a barrel when the UPA was in power.

Also read: LPG prices increased, domestic refills cost ₹25 more

Comparing the economic situation with the “economic catastrophe” of 1991, Mr. Gandhi said, “Our plan for the economy, which worked from 1991 to 2012, stopped working after that. We have to change our vision and need a new approach. Modi-ji promised that he would bring a new approach — all the talk about ‘New India’. But they were hollow slogans.”

Mr. Gandhi claimed that neither the Prime Minister nor the Finance Minister were “capable of addressing” the structural problems but experts and think tanks should focus on tackling them.

The Congress party is clear about what needs to be done and can share its expertise with the government, he said.

Taking a fresh dig at the ‘Make in India’ programme as well as the National Monetisation Pipeline, Mr. Gandhi said a huge section of the population was being demonetised while friends of the Prime Minister benefited.

“There is demonetisation taking place, where farmers, labourers, small traders, MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises), contract workers, salaried classes and honest industrialists are being hit, and on the other side, there is dramatic monetisation taking place. They are three or four big industrialist friends of the Prime Minister who are benefited. There is a transfer of wealth taking place from the poor to the Prime Minister’s friends,” alleged Mr. Gandhi.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 12:52:20 PM |

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