Govt trying to hide poverty behind 'wall' after concealing data on economy, alleges Cong

10:18 AM Feb 19, 2020 | PTI |

New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday accused the government of hiding data, including that of “lowest” consumption levels in 40 years, and asked it to make it public in order to find solutions to problems plaguing the economy.


The opposition party took a jibe at the ‘Gujarat model’ development, accusing the BJP government in the state of trying to “hide poverty” by constructing a wall in Ahmedabad ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit there later this month.

“We live in times where: GDP is measured in tons, Citizen rights in volts, Nationalism in decibels, Poverty in height and length of the wall. This is BJP’s ‘New India’!,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said on Twitter.

Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said playing ‘hide and seek’ has become the favourite game of the BJP government as it is concealing data pertaining to GDP numbers, inflation, unemployment and “now lowest ever consumption”.

“We demand that the government should take true care of economy. Data should not be hidden, but made public so it can be discussed as India is capable of battling all odds,” he said.


“Favourite game of the BJP government is hide and seek. Hide farmer suicide statistics. Hide unemployment figures. Hide the truth of demonetisation. Hide real GDP figures. Hide poverty behind the ‘wall’. And now hide the lowest consumption in 40 years,” he said, adding the government has “launched a war” against all sections of society including women, students and farmers.

Vallabh claimed that 16 of 23 sectors in manufacturing are in poor condition, but the government continues to be in a denial mode.

“The problem is that your mental culture is not balanced and you are not accepting the data which is on the ground, the truth which is on the ground,” he said.

The prices of essential products, he said, will further increase as growth projections are coming down and inflation is going up. If topline and bottomline go down, the revenue targets of government will have a big deficit (Even RBI Contingency Reserves can’t fill the same) this will also lead to reduction in social sector schemes, he said.

The Congress leader said the National Statistical Commission (NSC) official survey report showing a dip in consumer spending for the first time in over four decades will not be made public and the government had decided against releasing the report.

The drop in consumer spending for the first time in last 40 years clearly implies that poverty has gone up for the first time in many decades, he said, adding that in contrast to this, 27.1 crore people moved out of poverty between 2005 and 2016.

“This is the first time that the government has officially decided to not release a survey report after its completion,” he said.

“Those talking about the Gujarat model are now building walls to hide the poverty there. If a disease is to be treated, you have to accept that it is there in the first place. But BJP does not accept its failures,” he said while taking a dig at the BJP government over reports of construction of a wall in Ahmedabad to allegedly hide a slum.

Vallabh said only the government can answer on why the wall is being constructed, but as a citizen of a proud nation and as a worker of Congress Party he is disappointed as people of Gujarat are known for their entrepreneurship, their courage and “you are trying to demolish their entrepreneurship spirit. You are not sending a right message by putting up the wall”.

This, he said, is not the right way of addressing the problem. “If you have a problem, accept it that this is the problem. If you are not going to accept the problem, you can’t give a proper treatment to that problem and again that problem is always going to exist that you are not going to accept the problem…This is not the right way of going forward in life of the country.”

The Congress leader said the country has had the lowest growth in last nine years and this will definitely reduce savings as well, because inflation is 7.95 per cent.

“BJP’s favourite rating agency Moody’s has projected India’s growth estimate for 2020 to be 5.4 per cent, against the government’s claim of showing 6 to 6.5 per cent growth in the year,” he said.

Vallabh said poverty increases when consumption is low and claimed that UNDP data for 2005-2015 shows that during this period the highest eradication of poverty (271 million people) has taken place in the country and the credit for this goes to MNREGA.


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