Congress Slams Centre Over Low GDP Growth In Last Quarter Of 2019-20

"We had forecast that GDP for Q4 will touch a new low at below 4 per cent. It has turned out to be worse at 3.1 per cent. It is a telling commentary on the economic management of the BJP government," Mr Chidambaram tweeted.

Congress Slams Centre Over Low GDP Growth In Last Quarter Of 2019-20

India's economic growth slowed to 3.1 per cent in January-March. (File)

New Delhi:

The Congress on Friday said the low GDP growth in the last quarter of 2019-20 is the result of the BJP government's failures, misplaced priorities and a telling commentary on its economic management.

While former finance minister P Chidambaram said the 3.1 per cent GDP growth in the January-March quarter of 2019-20 is a telling commentary on the economic management of the BJP government, former union minister Jairam Ramesh stated that the way the government is in a denial mode on its handling of the economy will truly be "parm-atma-nirbhar (dependent on God)."

"We had forecast that GDP for Q4 will touch a new low at below 4 per cent. It has turned out to be worse at 3.1 per cent. It is a telling commentary on the economic management of the BJP government," Mr Chidambaram tweeted.

"Remember, this is pre-lockdown. Of the 91 days of Q4, lockdown applied to only 7 days," the senior Congress leader said.

"3.1 pc and 4.2 pc - these are not merely numbers. This is the product of BJP Govt''s failures and misplaced priorities," the Congress said on its official Twitter handle.

Congress leader Ramesh said, "Let it sink in. Latest Q4 GDP growth is the lowest in 11 years since India was hit by the global financial crisis. Figure includes only 1 week of lockdown."

"Mr Modi managed to run down Indian economy BEFORE lockdown. Expect more "naatakbaazi (drama)" from its "ustad" tomorrow," he tweeted.

"If the Modi government continues to be in denial about how badly it has managed the economy, India will truly be "parm-atma-nirbhar" (dependent on God)," Mr Ramesh said.

The former union minister said provisional GDP estimates for FY19-20 proves that the Modi government cannot hide its staggering incompetence in managing the economy by blaming it on COVID-19.

"The sharp deceleration clearly evident before the lockdown. Estimate of 4.2 pc likely to go below 4 pc when the actual figures come," he said.

Congress spokesperson Gaurav Vallabh said this is the lowest GDP growth rate in the last 44 quarters.

"Full year GDP at 4.2 pc, GVA at 3.9 pc, the lowest in the last 11 years," he said.

"Who is to be held accountable for the continuous slide in the economy since the last 4 years," Mr Vallabh asked.

He said there is no indication of any action to spur demand and instead the government has started a course of pushing the entire country into deep debt through its faulty and lofty claims of the stimulus package to counter COVID-19.

By the above numbers it is clearly proven that even before coronavirus cases started to surge in our country, the economy was struggling through a prolonged slowdown and forced conversion into recession, Mr Vallabh said.

"We demand an explanation to the nation about the failure of the much-marketed ''Make In India'' program. Government should come ahead and accept the failure of Demonetization and faulty implementation of GST," he said in a statement.

The Congress spokesperson said manufacturing at minus 1.4 per cent clearly indicates that demand has collapsed in the economy and is a cause of concern. He said this shows complete failure of the Make In India programme.

He noted that the factory output (IIP) contracted by 16 per cent thus indicating a significant pain in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector as well as cause for high unemployment.

The industry growth at minus 0.6 per cent (Q4FY20) is also a cause of concern and this clearly indicates that pain continues on the unemployment front in Q4 of FY20, Mr Vallabh said.

The decline in services to 4.4 per cent (Q4FY20) from 5.7 per cent (Q3FY20) also indicates that the country's strength has been dented significantly due to wrong policies.

Mr Vallabh alleged that despite a continuous slide since the time demonetisation and a faulty GST were imposed, the government has neither accepted its mistakes nor come with any concrete solution for the slide in the economy.

India's economic growth slowed to 3.1 per cent in January-March and to an 11-year low of 4.2 per cent for the full fiscal 2019-20 amid a drop in consumption and investment.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth stood at 5.7 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2018-19, according to the data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) on Friday.

During 2019-20, the Indian economy grew at 4.2 per cent as against 6.1 per cent in 2018-19. The economic growth was the lowest since 2008-09 when the economy had expanded at 3.1 per cent. The government had imposed a lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 from March 25, 2020.