New Delhi, Launching a scathing attack on BJP-led union government over the state of economy, Congress on Saturday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah had forgotten the promises made to the common man and only remembers Article 370. “Nobody pays heed to the reality in India, Maharashtra and Haryana or the condition of farmers, the poor. Between 2013 -16, 4,88,104 farmers committed suicide in the country. In Haryana, 162 farmers committed suicide in 2015 and the suicides rose to 250 in 2016.
Farmer suicides in Maharashtra have doubled in the last four years”, charged senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal while addressing a press conference at AICC headquarters. He said that Mr Modi spoke of farm loan waiver of Rs 34,000 crores, out of which only Rs 16,000 crores has happened and 50 lakh farmers are deprived of it.
Referring to the abrogation of Article 370, Mr Sibil said that the government care about Article 370 but have no idea what’s happening to the children, “93 percent are not getting nutrition”. “You don’t know how to look at governance or public because you look at everything from Savarkar’s point of view. We respect everyone that participated in our freedom struggle be it Savarkar or anyone else. But you have to decide if you are a follower of Gandhi ji or Savarkar”, Mr Sibal added.
Taking on the claims made by the government that abrogation of Article 370 will bring development in Jammu and Kashmir, the Congress leader said that while the poverty rate in Jammu and Kashmir is 10.35 per cent as against 17.35 per cent in Maharashtra, 29.34 per cent in UP, 11.16 per cent in Haryana and 16.63 per cent in Gujarat.
“Is this difference due to Article 370?”, Mr Sibal asked. “The unemployment rate of Jammu and Kashmir is 5.3 per cent, today the unemployment rate of Haryana is 28.7 per cent. Does it not reflect development in Jammu and Kashmir?”, he further asked. The Congress leader also pointed out that while Jammu and Kashmir has an infant mortality rate of 23, Maharashtra has 19, Haryana- 33, UP-41 and Gujarat- 30.
“The life expectancy in Jammu and Kashmir is 73.5, Maharashtra’s 72.2, Haryana’s 69.4, UP’s 64.1, and Gujarat’s 68.7. How did this happen? Why do they lie in parliament”, Mr Sibal charged. Taking on Union Minister Piyush Goel, the senior leader said that Mr Goyal said there is no slowdown and that Nobel laureate economist Abhijit Banerjee is ‘left-leaning’.
“Are the IMF, World Bank and other international agencies left leaning too? Your leader Subramanian Swamy said and I quote ‘while it is undeniable, the reality that the economy is headed for a serious crisis’, are his views left leaning too? Why are you mocking the poor, they are struggling to make ends meet”, Mr Sibal asked.
He also said that India’s rank has slipped on global competitiveness index to 68 from 60. “Global Hunger Index in 2013-14 was 99 now it’s 103. We’ve slipped in world happiness report from 117 to 140. We were at 27 in global democracy index now we are at 42, democracy is also in danger”, said Mr Sibal. On India’s GDP, Mr Sibal said that rating agency Standard and Poor in Oct 2019 says GDP will be 6.3 per cent not 7.8 per cent.
“Moody’s Investors Service cut the GDP forecast to 5.8 per cent. International agencies tracking GDP says there is a slowdown. Fitch ratings for June 2019 says GDP growth rate would be 6.6 per cent, they have cut it down too. OECD September 2019 says the growth will be 5.9 per cent, UN Conference on Trade and Development said growth will be 6 per cent not 7.4 per cent. Asian Development bank says it will be 6.5 per cent and not 7 per cent. The International Monetary Fund on October 15 said, the earlier GDP projection of 7 per cent is at 6.1 per cent today”, he added.
The Congress leader also said that World Bank on October 13 said 6 per cent growth will be recorded as opposed to 6.8 per cent announced earlier and added that “our economy is in crisis”.