New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s husband Parakala Prabhakar has launched a scathing attack on the Narendra Modi-led government over the ongoing economic slowdown in the country. In a column for a leading daily, the Union Minister’s husband claimed that the government is in ‘denial mode’, while ‘data flowing uninterruptedly into the public domain show that sector after sector is staring at a seriously challenging situation’.
He also asserted that the ruling BJP has not been able to propose any economic framework of its own and has limited itself to mainly critiquing the Nehruvian model from the fringes of the political spectrum.
“The party’s economic ideology and its articulation were limited to mainly critiquing the Nehruvian model from the fringes of the political spectrum. The BJP’s flirting with Gandhian socialism did not last for more than a few months after its founding. In economic policy, the party mainly adopted ‘Neti Neti (Not this, Not this’), without articulating what was its own ‘Niti (policy)’, Prabhakar wrote.
Besides, he also noted that economic road map was not a part of ruling party’s re-election bid. “The issues that catapulted the party on to the centre stage of the country’s political discourse and then to the seats of power both in the Centre and in various States had little to do with the articulation of an economic road map and its endorsement by the electorate,” he stated.
Furthermore, the economist advised the Centre to ’embrace’ the economic architecture put forward by former Prime Ministers PV Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh. Prabhakar was referring to liberalisation of economy ushered in by Rao and his economic amanuensis Manmohan Singh in 1991.
Earlier, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had lambasted the Narendra Modi-led government and claimed that the Indian economy is currently experiencing a ‘dangerous protracted slowdown’. During a Congress party meeting, Singh had said,” The dangerous thing about the present situation is that the government is complacent enough not to realise that we are in the midst of a protracted economic slowdown. There was an atmosphere of ‘gloom and doom all around.”
Last month, the spokesperson of International Monetary Fund Gerry Rice had stated that the recent economic growth in India is much weaker than expected due to corporate and environmental regulatory uncertainty weakness in some non-Bank financial companies.
Commenting on India’s growth rate, Gerry Rice noted that the GDP figures reflect a slow growth rate for India. He was quoted by news agency ANI as saying, “What’s IMF’s assessment? We’ll have fresh numbers coming up but recent economic growth in India is much weaker than expected, mainly due to corporate and environmental regulatory uncertainty.”
On the other hand, the Union Ministers here are not ready to accept that the country is facing worst economic crisis. On Saturday when Law Minister and senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad was asked to comment on the slowdown, he cited earnings of three hit movies of Bollywood to dismiss the crisis. He said,”India earned Rs 120 crore from three Bollywood movies on October 2. This proves that the country’s economy is very much sound.”
Earlier, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had blamed the millennials for the slowdown in Automobile sector. According to the Finance Minister, one of the reasons for the slowdown was ‘change in the mindset’ of the people, who, she said, are now using cab aggregators like Ola and Uber as well as public modes of transportation.
“Automobile sector, in particular, has been affected by several things. These include BS6 movement, the registration fee issue that has been deferred till June and the mindset of millennials, who are now preferring not to commit EMIs to buying automobiles but prefer to use Ola or Uber or take the metro”, Sitharaman had asserted.