Ravi Shankar Prasad dismisses IMF remarks on economic slowdown, says three movies earning Rs 120 cr in day points to 'sound' economy

  • Union Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday said three movies earning Rs 120 crore in a single day suggested the economy was 'sound'

  • He rejected IMF managing director's prediction that India and Brazil are likely to have slower growth in 2019

  • He also alleged that some people 'organised against the government were misleading people over unemployment scenario'

Dismissing reports of an economic slowdown, Union Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday said three movies earning Rs 120 crore in a single day suggested that the economy was "sound".

Commenting on International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva's remarks on the economic slowdown being more pronounced this year in India and Brazil, Prasad said IMF's measurement was incomplete. "We never said that we will give government jobs to everyone, " he said, while accusing unnamed persons of "organising against the government and misleading people over unemployment".

Prasad, who is Mumbai to campaign for the BJP for the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections, said, "I was also told that on 2 October, which is observed as one of the national holidays, three Hindi movies garnered Rs 120 crore business on that day. Unless the economy is sound in the country, how can only three movies collect so much business in a single day?"

He also termed wrong the National Sample Survey Organisation's report which claimed that unemployment was at a 45-year-high. "I have given you ten parameters where economy is performing well, but not a single one is reflected in the (NSSO) report. Hence I call it a wrong report," he said.

The NSSO's periodic labour force survey (PLFS) had stated that unemployment had risen from 2.2 percent in 2011-12 stated and it was this high last in 1972-73.  The report had generated a lot of political heat, with then Congress president Rahul Gandhi saying the Modi government had promised two crore jobs, but five years later a "leaked job creation report card" had revealed a "national disaster".

He rejected IMF managing director's prediction that India and Brazil are likely to have slower growth in 2019. "The measurement of IMF about India is still incomplete. And do not forget, India was on the 11th position when Manmohan Singh was in power. Today, it is the fifth largest. We have surpassed even France," the Union minister said, adding that sectors like electronic manufacturing, services and Information and Technology were performing well.

Interestingly, Prasad's comments came after the World Competitive Index report and government data on Friday revealed that factory output has shrunk by 1.1 percent in August, which is the poorest performance in seven years due to a sharp decline in production of capital goods and consumer durables. Referring to the report, the senior BJP leader said, "Look at innovation, start-ups and market size parameters, we are improving. It is true that we have dropped on some other parameters."

India, which was ranked 58th in the annual Global Competitiveness Index compiled by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF), is among the worst-performing BRICS nations along with Brazil (ranked even lower than India at 71 this year), as per the report.

- With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Oct 12, 2019 23:04:35 IST