Investments in 2017 at 13-year low: Congress

New Delhi: Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that fresh investments in various sectors in three years were the highest, the Congress on Tuesday said it would have been good if he had mentioned that the investments in 2017 were at a “13-year low”.

“Modi ji today (Tuesday) said that fresh investment in three years have been the highest. It is not true. It would have been good had he said that in 2017, the investments were at a 13-year low.

“During the earlier United Progressive Alliance rule, fresh investments in 2014 totalled 16.2 trillion dollars. In 2017, it reduced to 7.9 trillion dollars. It would have been good had he given this figure as well,” said Congress leader Raj Babbar.

Babbar said that losses have been the most this year in the manufacturing sector. “Today, news reports said 1.5 crore labourers have become unemployed.”

The actor-turned-politician said Congress President Rahul Gandhi had expressed concern over jobs, quality education and healthcare in India while addressing the Indian diaspora in Bahrain.

“One leader is expressing concern about all these issues and, on the other hand, they (Bharatiya Janata Party) are always in election mode. The Prime Minister and his entire Council of Ministers reach wherever there is election. But they keep themselves away from the country’s problems,” Babbar said.

Addressing a day-long conference of PIO Parliamentarians — Indian-origin lawmakers from across the world, Modi gave details of new investments his government was making in the country in technology, transportation and infrastructure development “keeping in mind the needs of the 21st century”.

“More than half the investments in the last three years till now has happened in sectors like construction, air transport, mining, computer software, hardware, electrical equipment and many others,” Modi said.

Asked if Gandhi was defaming the country abroad as alleged by the BJP, Babbar said: “There is a difference between criticism and expressing concern. When he says this, there is a concern….”

The Congress leader said: “It is our responsibility that we talk about providing jobs, quality education and improved healthcare. If they think that it amounts to defaming the nation, then there is something wrong with them.”

Highlighting how job-creation in India is at an eight-year low, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday said the two threats facing India under the Modi government are its inability to create jobs and the rise of the forces of hatred and division.