Govt clueless on how to deal with sinking economy: Cong

The Congress on Monday said the country's economy continued to sink and the Modi government was clueless as regards how to deal with the situation.

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said with oil prices continuing to rise amid an escalating Iran-US row, the government did not have the wisdom to deal with the situation if it turned similar to the 1991 economic crisis.

"While the fire lit by the hurried passage of CAA rages across the country, the economy continues to sink. There has not been a single silver lining in the last six months," he told reporters, while noting that imports were down by 8.37 per cent and exports by 2.21 per cent as compared to last year.

"I have no expectations from this government's economic policies," the former finance minister said.

He said direct tax revenue collections were only 41.6 per cent of the budget estimates and the credit growth to industry was 3.4 per cent, while manufacturing output had shrunken by 3.8 per cent.

"The fiscal deficit will breach the budget limit of 3.4 per cent. WPI is at 1.92 per cent and CPI at 5.54 per cent. Food inflation has crossed 10 per cent. As warned, the cut in corporate tax rates did not boost investment. Private consumption declined significantly.

"The government has run out of money to spend or invest in the last quarter of 2019-20. It is obvious that the government is clueless and seems to think that ignorance is bliss," Chidambaram said.

Asked if the country's economy was going down, he said if oil prices continued to flare up, "we will be deep in trouble".

"I do not think this government has any contingency plan to deal with the rising oil prices," he added.

Asked if he foresaw a situation similar to the 1991 economic crisis in case oil prices continued to flare up, Chidambaram said, "I do not think they have the wisdom to deal with the situation like 1991. So, god forbid that we go back to 1991." PTI SKC RC

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