Congress to demand white paper on economy during Budget session

New Delhi: A strong pitch for bringing out a white paper on the state of the economy will be made by the Congress in the Budget session of Parliament beginning on February 23, a move it claims will expose the “boastful” assertions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The opposition party would also raise the issues of alleged misuse of the office of the governor, atrocities on dalits, “tension and conflict orchestrated” in university campuses and other institutes of excellence, deputy leader of the party in the Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma said. Budget He told PTI that Congress would persist with the demand of a white paper on the economy in view of the “boastful claims” of the Prime Minister.

Sharma claimed that all sectors of the economy were slowing down. There is slide in manufacturing and industrial production, free fall in exports for the past 13 months, thousands of job loss in the export manufacturing sector, sharp decline in domestic investment and escalation of debt to GDP ratio, he said.

Striking a similar note, another party leader Manish Tewari said “in the past 20 months, the only one thing that has outmatched the arrogance of the NDA-BJP government is its singular ignorance about governance”.

Only last week, the main opposition party had accused the Prime Minister of steering the economy “into a crisis” when sensex had crashed 807 points to drop below 23,000-mark, its lowest level in 21 months, on concerns over global economy and mounting bad loans as also weak quarterly earnings of state-run banks.

The AICC has also cast doubts over official projections that GDP would grow at 7.6 per cent during the current fiscal and has alleged that the Prime Minister was “encouraging financial jugglery”.

“With there being low production and capital utilisation in many sectors, we have to wonder the veracity of this (official economic) data. India was always known for having credible statistics prior to the arrival of Modi government.

“But, Modi government is obsessed with its image. In his quest to mask his failures in trying to fulfill the audacious promises he made, Modi is encouraging financial jugglery to maintain some semblance of credibility,” the party had alleged last week in a commentary “Modi Govt’s new GDP projections raise more questions than they answer”.

Instead of any effective policy intervention, all that the government is doing is repackaging old schemes and speaking about a Make-in-India programme, has been the refrain of the opposition.

The issue of alleged misuse of governor is in the light of the imposition of President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh, wher Congress was in power.