New Delhi, May 29: The Congress on Saturday questioned the Narendra Modi-led NDA government for its “failure to create jobs” during its two-year rule and said its record in agriculture was dismal. At a press conference here as the National Democratic Alliance government completed two years, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram said: “The government’s record in agriculture is dismal. Growth was negative at minus 0.2 percent in 2014-15 and a meagre 1.1 percent in 2015-16.”
The government failed to anticipate and tackle the acute distress in rural India, he said. “Where are the jobs? The most notable failure of the NDA government has been in job creation,” he said after releasing a report on NDA government’s performance in two years. ALSO READ: Narendra Modi government celebrating 2 years in office despite drought: Congress
“The ferment in universities can be partly attributed to the bleak future faced by university graduates. Besides, there are millions of young people who will complete no more than 8 or 10 years of school education and will have no special skills. Where are the jobs for them,” he asked. The former finance minister also said that there was “little to cheer in the GDP numbers”.
“There is a growing dichotomy between the GDP numbers and the other economic indicators. “If calculated under the methodology of the old series, the estimate for 2015-16 would be about 5 percent and not 7.6 percent. The average citizens need jobs and incomes. They do not consume GDP numbers,” he added.
Chidambaram further said: “Annual sales growth of all firms in 2015-16 was negative at minus 5.7 percent. Annual sales growth of manufacturing firms was negative at minus 11.2 percent. These are reflected in credit growth which is at a 20-year low of 9.9 percent. “They are also reflected in the slump in merchandise exports which was minus 15.5 per cent in 2015-16. Another indicator is the Index of Industrial Production which stood at a meager 2.4 percent in 2015-16,” he added.
“If agriculture and industry are in distress, what is there to celebrate?” asked Chidambaram. He also claimed that ‘Make in India’ was still a non-starter as a study shows that the bulk of the FDI inflows have come into the services sector and not into manufacturing.