New Delhi, Mar 24 : Congress lawmaker Deependra Singh Hooda on Wednesday said that economy had derailed well before the Covid pandemic and over 12 crore jobs were lost during the lockdown and after.
Approximately, 35 per cent of MSME sector was closed as well, he added.
Initiating the debate on the Finance Bill 2021, he said , “Before I begin talking about the Finance Bill, I need to place things in context. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy was slipping down. We had a slowdown over eight straight quarters. During UPA rule, average GDP growth rate was 7.8 per cent and in your six years before the pandemic, the growth rate was 6.8 per cent. The industrial growth rate during UPA regime was 4 per cent whereas in your time it was only 2 per cent”.
Taking a dig at the Government on export sector, he further said the Government gave the slogan of Make in India. “During UPA era, the export growth rate was nearly 21 per cent and now it was down to four per cent. Even the government expenditure has come down. Demonetisation first shook the economy and then the mismanagement of GST pushed it to the brink and the pandemic sent the economy into ICU”, he said.
Quoting the many remarks of the noted economists, including Raghuram Rajan, who pointed out that the economy was in a shambles even before the COVID-19 pandemic, he said that in comparison to the world, India has the highest negative GDP growth. “This was also responsible for widening the economic gap between rich and poor wherein the over 12 crore jobs were lost and the profit of rich have gone up by the 35 per cent during the lockdown.
Talking about the stimulus package given by the Government in this pandemic period, the majority of the Governments in the world gave around 20 per cent of GDP to its citizens so that the buying capacity would increase, but in India, the stimulus package was given slightly over three per cent which was the smallest by any government across the world.
“There is no demand in economy. You did not heed our advice of regenerating The rating agencies are threatening to downgrade India’s rating once again”, he said.
Referring to the tax structures of the Government, Mr Hooda said that the Government has been focusing on supply side as on indirect taxes, rather than the direct taxes. “Since your government has come to power, you reduced the corporate tax. Your claim was that this will increase investment. But with no demand, nobody is investing. So, how are you meeting the shortfall? By increasing indirect taxes on fuel, which has increased from Rs 75,000 crore to more than Rs three lakh crore.”