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NEW DELHI: The Opposition, as one, reminded the Modi government that the slight upward trend in GDP in this year’s second quarter is far below that of 7.5% in the comparable period last year before demonetisation and GST were imposed.
Worse, they said, is that agricultural growth has been “abysmal”, leading to skyrocketing vegetable prices, especially of onions.
“6.3% is far below the PROMISE of the Modi government and far below the POTENTIAL of a well-managed Indian economy,” tweeted former finance minister P Chidambaram (Emphases his).
The government said yesterday that India’s GDP – after a slide of five straight quarters – was 6.3% in the second quarter (July-September). While the surge came only from the mining and manufacturing sectors, other sectors’ growth – agriculture, financing & real estate and transport & hotels – slowed.
“Agriculture sector growth is abysmal and core sector growth is stagnant and manufacturing (is) down – What is the Modi Government celebrating”, asked Congress spokesman RS Surjewala.
The CPM’s Sitaram Yechury too spoke of the “crisis” in the farm sector.
“GDP data shows the crisis in the farm sector. Instead of ‘jumlas’ (overblown statements) about doubling farmers’ income by 2022, this govt should tell us what steps it plans to take to ease farmers’, their families’ pain and give them their rightful due. BJP is trying to distract attention from serious and pressing issues, affecting all Indians,” tweeted Yechury.
Yechury is referring to trade data that shows retail onion prices have skyrocketed – touching Rs 80 per kg in the national capital and Rs 50-70 per kg in other metros, as PTI news agency reported two days ago.
“Backbreaking prices that it has no answer for. Onions selling at Rs 80 a kg,” said Yechury.
Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee blamed the Centre for these skyrocketing prices.
“Last year Q2 GDP growth was 7.5% and this year it is 6.3%. This Govt only ‘bhashan’ (rhetoric), no action,” tweeted Banerjee.
“By encouraging unlimited export of onions, the Central Government has created a huge crisis in the domestic market leading to skyrocketing onion prices,” added Banerjee.
Former finance minister and senior Congress leader Chidambaram said the newest GDP number is only a “a PAUSE”(emphasis his) in the declining trend of the last five quarters.
“…we cannot say now whether this will mark an upward trend in the growth rate. We should wait for the growth rates over the next 3-4 quarters before we can reach a definite conclusion,” tweeted Chidambaram.