Indian economy in distress, BJP unaware: Chidambaram


Chidambaram cited high interest rates, stagnant real wages, rising unemployment, and falling household consumption as clear indicators of economic distress….reports Asian Lite News

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram voiced concerns on Thursday, asserting that the Indian economy is facing “severe distress” while criticising the BJP’s lack of response. Highlighting a significant 31% drop in net foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, Chidambaram emphasised FDI as a measure of confidence in the country’s policies.

He pointed out a decline in investor confidence in both foreign and Indian investors over the past three years, prompting the finance minister to urge for increased investments. Chidambaram attributed the exodus of foreign investment to perceived wrong policies and incompetent management by the BJP.

Chidambaram cited high interest rates, stagnant real wages, rising unemployment, and falling household consumption as clear indicators of economic distress.

Despite this, Chidambaram lamented the apparent indifference of BJP leaders towards the economy’s plight, while the Congress continues to critique the government’s handling of issues such as unemployment and inflation.

Earlier, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur criticised Chidambaram, saying contrary to the latter’s viewpoint that no one would use digital payments in India, the system has touched an all-time high and the country is a world leader in that.

Anurag Thakur said that the former Union Minister had mocked the digital economy when it was introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Speaking at the Viksit Bharat Ambassador (VBA) meet-up programme here, he said that Chidambaram was “totally pessimistic” as the Congress leader had then said that no one would use digital payments, there wouldn’t be bank accounts and no Internet connection.

However, Anurag Thakur said, numerous Indians are using digital UPI payments, and the digital economy has become a common-place in the country.

The Union Minister said that Congress and Chidambaram could never dream of such a positive transformation and hence, they were skeptical on the subject.

Anurag Thakur also said that all public sector banks in the country were having robust growth and added that the NPAs of all these banks have come down significantly.

The Union Minister said that good banking was a clear example of good governance, adding that the people of the country, especially ordinary citizens, were benefitting from the positive growth story of the banking system in the country.

Anurag Thakur also said that the government had helped street vendors and had given them loans.

He said that there are instances of such vendors doing business worth Rs 1,00,000 in a year with a loan amount of Rs 10,000.

The Union Minister said that more than 8 crore people benefitted under this scheme.

The Union Minister said that several startups have come up in the country in the sectors of space, agriculture and many other areas, adding that there are currently 160 unicorns in the country.

He said that one unicorn is worth more than Rs 8,500 crore.

The Union Minister also said that certain startups in the area of drones like ‘Garuda’ in Chennai were doing “extremely well”, adding he had visited the start-up twice.

He also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government had used technology at its best and this has led to the increase in UPI, OTT and even digital certification.

Anurag Thakur also spoke on the Covid digital certification, saying that it was a huge success.

Congress alleges EC sits on its complaints

The Congress has expressed dissatisfaction with the perceived inaction of the Election Commission (EC) regarding its complaints and urged for a fair and unbiased electoral process during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. This dissatisfaction stems from the party’s grievances regarding the BJP’s allegedly “misleading” advertisements and posters endorsing various government schemes, which the Congress claims violate election norms.

The opposition party lodged complaints with the EC, highlighting concerns over what they deem as violations of the poll code by senior BJP leaders. Congress’ Media and Publicity Department head, Pawan Khera, emphasized the need for the EC to maintain impartiality and ensure a level playing field. A delegation comprising prominent Congress leaders, including Mukul Wasnik, Salman Khurshid, Supriya Shrinate, and Gurdeep Sappal, met with the EC to address nine specific issues concerning campaign practices and content.

Salman Khurshid, a senior Congress leader, highlighted the party’s objections to the BJP’s campaign tactics during the Lok Sabha polls, particularly criticizing the manner in which government schemes are promoted, often featuring the Prime Minister’s photograph. Khurshid expressed disappointment over the EC’s perceived inaction, despite assurances to address the party’s complaints.

Supriya Shrinate echoed Khurshid’s concerns, emphasizing the need for action against fake news and misleading advertisements to ensure fairness in the electoral process. She raised objections to the BJP’s campaign on the 2G issue, arguing that the courts have acquitted the accused, making such campaigns misleading and objectionable. Shrinate also criticized the circulation of videos suggesting Prime Minister Modi’s role in stopping the Russia-Ukraine war, urging the EC to intervene.

Furthermore, Shrinate claimed that the BJP circulated a letter advocating support for a ‘Viksit Bharat’ written by the Prime Minister on social media platforms, which the Congress deemed as inappropriate campaigning tactics. The party filed a complaint against this alleged misuse of social media platforms.

In summary, the Congress has voiced concerns over the Election Commission’s perceived failure to address their complaints regarding alleged violations by the BJP during the election campaign. They continue to advocate for a fair and transparent electoral process, urging the EC to take decisive action to uphold democratic principles.

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