Congress leader Anand Sharma. (File photo)
Congress leader Anand Sharma. (File photo)

Govt pushing country towards bankruptcy, financial emergency: Congress

ANI | Updated: Aug 27, 2019 17:50 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug 27 (ANI) Accusing the government of "snatching RBI money", the Congress on Tuesday said the country is being pushed towards "bankruptcy" and sought a white paper on the state of the economy.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters, Congress leader Anand Sharma said India is "now in the midst of the worst-ever financial crisis where the government is pushing the country towards bankruptcy because of its policies".
He said, "We are charging this government with monumental mismanagement of the Indian economy...It is not a recession or a downturn, the situation is grim."
Sharma said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman "cannot remain in denial which they are. They are deflecting continuously public attention from real issues."
On the Reserve Bank of India's move to transfer Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the government, Sharma said, "Yesterday's decision was a confirmation of what the party had been forewarning about the state of the economy".
He said the RBI has taken an unprecedented decision of transferring its entire surplus in one go to the government.
"Tomorrow, if you have a global economic crisis, the RBI has no room left to intervene and help the Indian economy. This is how grave the situation is", he said.
The Congress leader said except the Bimal Jalan committee, "which was set up after the government pressurised and pushed the Reserve Bank to give a part of its Contingent Risk Buffer (CRB)", the suggestion to part with RBI's reserves was resisted by former governors including Raghuram Rajan and Urjit Patel.
Sharma also made a veiled attack on RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das.
"Here there is an obliging, pliant RBI governor who has done what none of his predecessors was willing to do," he said.
Sharma said the CRB has been brought to the minimal level. "Below that you cannot go because RBI's own standing as a central bank will collapse," he said.
He said that the decision will have catastrophic consequences.
"The government has done it out of sheer desperation. Its policies have brought the economy to ruin. Our GDP is continuously falling," he noted.
Sharma said after the transfer from the RBI, there is nothing more for the bank to transfer because they have touched a red line.
He said people have fears about their own money in the banks now.
"It is a serious situation, former governors have said so. The government is in a position to intimidate any authority, any institution," he said, adding there was a huge shortfall in revenue.
Sharma said there was a mismatch between the figures mentioned in the revised estimates of this year's Budget and that in the economic survey and the shortfall was Rs 1.7 lakh crore. "That shortfall is exactly what the government seeks to meet by snatching away from the money from the central bank's contingency reserve."
He said industrial manufacturing has collapsed and the Indian rupee, which is continuously falling, has lost its value by four per cent. The rupee is the worst-performing currency of Asia, he said.
"Unemployment has soared to 5.8 per cent. The real unemployment in India is close to 20 per cent. Major industrial sectors are collapsing because of fall in consumption and demand," he noted.
Sharma said the automobile sector is facing job losses. "The textile sector has run the alarm bell and agricultural distress was very well known."
"All the engines of the Indian economy are just stuttering. We do not know how the take-off will take place. We demand that the government immediately come out with a white paper on the state of the economy. They will try to fudge data but they must do it (bring a white paper)," he said.
He accused the government of stopping part of subsidy transfer and said the Union Budget presented this year had flaws.
Sharma alleged that the government does not know the way forward.
"The condition is bad and they snatched RBI money and pushed the country towards the economic emergency. This is a serious issue," he added. (ANI)

iocl