New Delhi: Soon after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced measures to bring the economy on track, the Congress hit out at the ruling BJP, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision on demonetisation and a faulty Goods and Services Tax were “monumental blunders” that led to the slowdown of the economy.
“I hope they acknowledge and understand that the economy is not on track. We have been raising concerns of unemployment, a complete downward trend of the economy, adventurism being indulged in by the Prime Minister such as in demonetisation and GST. These are blunders which are monumental,” Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera told IANS.
He said, “I don’t know whether these measures are enough… they are too little and too late. And we are concerned about the country and economy.”
Senior Congress leader and party spokesperson Manish Tewari also slammed the government over its decision on demonetisation and GST. “A structural problem bedevils the fundamentals of Indian economy because of lag effect of demonitisation/GST coupled with spectre of terror unleashed on honest business persons, juxtaposed with lack of understanding of economic issues by successive Finance Ministers of NDA/BJP,” the former Union Minister said in a tweet.
Another senior Congress leader, Salman Khurshid, told IANS that economy needed a fundamental operation and restructuring.
“I am not sure the announcements (made today by the Finance Minister) are of that magnitude. These are little gestures which are always welcome. I think these have to be more fundamental as these have a lot to do with restructuring the reform of economy… it also has a lot to do with the attitudes, the way we do governance. Unless all these things are addressed, we are not going anywhere,” Khurshid told IANS.
He also said that demonetisation and GST are the reason behind the slowdown.
The Congress leaders’ reaction came soon after Sitharaman announced various measures such as releasing Rs 70,000 crore upfront for PSBs recapitalisation, additional liquidity to support housing finance companies, a rollback of the controversial tax surcharge on the Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPIs) announced in the Budget last month and pending GST refunds.