Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

Congress targets Sitharaman over auto sale fall comment, seeks apology

ANI | Updated: Sep 11, 2019 20:38 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept 11 (ANI): Congress on Wednesday criticised Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over her "overstatement" on auto sales slump, saying her comments reflected "inefficiency and immaturity" of the government.
"The gross overstatement made by the FM is a grave joke on the poor state of the economy. The statement made by the Finance Minister reflects the inefficiency, immaturity, and inexperience of the BJP in governance," Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said in a statement.
He said Sitharaman's comment was "a grave joke on the poor state" of the economy, asked her to "self-expunge" the remarks and asked her to apologise to the nation.
Addressing a press conference in Chennai, Sitharaman had on Tuesday said: "The automobile and components industry has been affected by BS6 and the mindsets of millennial, who now prefer to have Ola and Uber rather than committing to buying an automobile."
The Congress leader said the fall in auto sales and the mobile app-based ride-hailing system cannot be correlated. "App-based services like Ola and Uber prevail in metros and tier-II cities. Conversely, the sharp decline in the auto sector is spread across India including the rural regions as well," he said.
"App-based car booking is not a new trend that is responsible for killing the new car market. The trend of the slowdown in the automobile industry did not come all of a sudden. Sales have fallen in 12 of the 13 months since July 2018."
Singhvi said that the impact of the economic slowdown was felt "across sectors, throughout the economy" and not just the automobile sector.
"Have Ola and Uber become this powerful that they can impact the economy at such a large scale?" he questioned and cited industry data to assert that automobile sales "worst" performance was recorded between July 2018 and July 2019.
Targeting the Finance Minister over her statement, the Congress leader said: "Applying the FM's logic, are landlords and millennials going for rented accommodation responsible for the recession in the real estate sector? Are family businesses responsible for the shrinking labour force? Is the growth and development of the US responsible for the continuous weakening of Rupee?"
Singhvi questioned the government over the fall of Rupee, export figures, stock market, and dip in the labour force. He also criticised the government over GDP growth fall, saying that "dip in GDP has become the new normal" for the BJP. (ANI)