Hamirpur : Union Minister of state for Finance and Corporate affairs, Anurag Thakur said that the flexible Indian economy would remain positive on strong fundamentals.
In a strongly worded statement last evening, he said that the Congress party wanted to create a sensation in the masses by manipulating the economic data but their nefarious designs would not be successful.
Thakur said, “The Indian economy is flexible and will bounce back on the basis of continuous reforms in the times to come. These are difficult times in the era of global calamity but the Indian economy still remains very strong. I don’t wonder why the former finance minister chose to ignore the hard figures and instead went ahead with ‘what the Congress leadership has always to criticize the government”.
He said, “Consistent reforms and strong fundamentals have ensured that India grew by 1.6 percent in Q4 of FY 2020-21 from a contraction of 24.4% in the first quarter of FY 2020-21.
On the issue of the dismal forecast of the Indian economy by Mr. Chidambaram, Thakur said, “You doubt the ability of Indian entrepreneurs, small businesses, traders, and MSMEs to revive them while various international agencies have projected India’s growth rate for the fiscal year.
Thakur asked the former Finance Minister, “Is the Indian economy an isolated island; Have not other major economies of the world faced GDP contraction in this pandemic? Don’t you know that France, Germany, Italy, and the UK have declined by 8.2%, 4.9%, 8.9%, and 9.9% respectively? Canada, Russia, South Africa, and America have also seen a contraction in their GDP in the last year. Despite disruptions in a globalized world, India remains resilient.”
Thakur emphasized that the economic facts convey the following points: The record GST collection of Rs 1.44 lakh crore – the highest ever – confirms this. We registered growth in passenger vehicle sales, two-wheeler sales, oil consumption, steel production, cement production, international air cargo among other sectors.
Similarly, the latest GDP data shows that the manufacturing sector grew by 6.9% in the January-March 2021 quarter, 14.5% in the construction sector, 27.3%, and 32.7% in the steel and cement sectors, respectively, in March 2021. It is worth noting that this increase is more than the pre-lockdown period of March 2020. Both the sectors grew by 400% and 549% in April 2021, the minister added.
On the issue of “cash transfer”, which Mr. Chidambaram claimed had not happened and should have been initiated; Thakur refuted them by stating the facts as follows:
During the NDA tenure 2014-19, the government disbursed Rs 8 lakh crore versus Rs 3.74 lakh crore on the purchase of wheat and rice during the UPA tenure 2009-14. The Modi government bought 74 times more pulses at MSP in 2009-14 than it had purchased during the UPA regime.
The NDA government procured 306.9 million tones of paddy and 162.7 million tons of wheat in the last 5 years, while only 176.8 million tones of paddy and, 139.5 million tons of wheat were procured during 2009-13 period under the UPA.
Thakur said that the Congress party misled the farmers on the issue of agricultural laws and engaged in protests. Today the farmers are happy and here also the lies of Congress have been exposed.
India has recorded the highest ever wheat procurement at 405 lakh LMT is 4% higher than 390 LMT in RMS 2020-21. Paddy procurement touched a high of 789 LMT during KMS 2020-21.
In addition, Rs 19,000 crore was directly credited to the farmers in their accounts as the 8th installment of PMKISAN through DBT. Thakur further added, “Doesn’t this give “cash in hand” to the farmer?
Mr. Thakur asked Mr. Chidambaram that on the one hand, he wanted “cash transfer”, but on the other hand how many bank accounts did the UPA open for the poor during his tenure?
He said that the Modi government had stopped the leakage in the system by opening 42 crores Jan Dhan accounts to ensure that every rupee reaches directly to the eligible beneficiary swiftly. It has provided financial assistance to lakhs of people even during the COVID19 pandemic through direct bank transfers.
He reminded the former finance minister that, “Under NSAP, 24% the contribution was made to widows, differently-abled, senior citizens, building and construction workers under BOCW, front-loaded PM-Kisan for farmers, EPFO and Ujjwala. The total transfer is over Rs 68,000 crore. Isn’t it “cash in hand”?
Further, on the issue of MGNREGA, Thakur questioned Mr. Chidambaram and asked, “Do you remember the allocation to MGNREGA during UPA? NDA government increased the allocation during the COVID-19 period last year from Rs.61, 500 crores to Rs.1 lakh crore”. We increased the wages to Rs 202 as well, ensuring a total of 300 crore man-days of work. Isn’t this “cash” in the hands of the workers, he asked Chidambaram?
Thakur reminded the former Finance Minister saying that while the UPA government disbursed bad loans during your tenure as Finance Minister; we have provided Government Guarantee of Rs.3 Lakh Crore through ECLGS scheme to industry to sustain and revive their business which includes MSME, Hospitality, Tourism, Sports Sector, Healthcare, etc.
The Modi government, unlike its predecessor UPA, has adopted a participatory and response approach. Over Rs 2.65 lakh crore has been sanctioned by public and private sector banks, NBFCs in over 92 lakh accounts. Doesn’t it provide a “cash” flow for businesses, he emphatically told the former Indian Finance Minister.