Congress slams Modi over economic growth

Congress slams Modi over economic growth

The Congress on Wednesday mocked the Modi government's claims that economic growth was poised for a take-off and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's Rs nine lakh crore plan to spur the economy.

"Dear Mr Jaitley, May the Farce be with you," Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter, making a pun of the cult phrase from the movie Star Wars.

Rahul's latest jibe comes after he described the Goods and Services Tax rollout as "Gabbar Singh Tax" after the iconic villain in the Bollywood blockbuster Sholay.

Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma also hit out at Jaitley accusing him of making "incorrect" statements and making the Modi government a "laughing stock" both domestically and internationally.

"It is wrong to say that the country's economic fundamentals are strong. The finance minister's claim that India's economy is the world's fastest growing is incorrect and factually wrong," Sharma told reporters.

Sharma also criticised Jaitley for announcing plans to observe November 8, the first anniversary of demonetisation, as 'Anti-Black Money Day'. "The BJP has gone berserk. 99% of the money has come back into the system. What black money is he talking about,” he said.

"How can the fundamentals of the economy be strong when credit off-take is the lowest in 63 years, investments — both public and private are falling and the gross fixed capital formation is in the negative," he added.

Sharma also wondered how the government planned to raise the Rs nine lakh crore for investments in various sectors as announced on Tuesday when its total revenues totalled Rs 17 lakh crore.

"The country was taken for a ride in an imaginary world. The government should put the money where its mouth is," the former commerce minister said.

Sharma said the government had now realised the "bad condition" of the economy and woken up to the situation by announcing a financial package. "The government has no plan to put the economy back on track," he added.

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