India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the April-June quarter of 2019-20 fell to 5 percent from last quarter's 5.8 percent, revealed the official data released by the Central Statistics Office on Friday.
The over six-year low in the GDP growth — a result of sharp deceleration in manufacturing output and subdued farm sector activity — prompted several Opposition parties like Congress, Samajwadi Party, and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), to hit out at the Narendra Modi-led government.
Congress asked on Twitter if the growth of 5 percent was even accurate, while its spokesperson Sanjay Jha claimed that the real GDP was at 3 percent or perhaps even lower.
Given that several doubts have been raised - even by the former Chief Economic Advisor - on the govt's GDP calculations, is 5% accurate? Is the real rate of growth even lower? #BahiKhateMeinLocha
— Congress (@INCIndia) August 30, 2019
The economy is on a free fall. The informal sector that was destroyed by demonetisation and ham-handed execution of GST has now haemorrhaged the formal sector. The government has failed India. 5% GDP growth means the real economic numbers are closer to 3%. A disaster. — Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) August 30, 2019
Jha also lashed out at finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman for "wrongfully boasting" last week that India was the fastest-growing world economy. "Did she not even have a clue of the abysmal numbers round the corner of 5 percent? The NDA is a monumental fraud," he tweeted. On Sitharaman's mega plan to merge 10 public sector banks into four in view of the economic slowdown, Jha said the merger "will be a gigantic mess".
What was needed was more professionalisation of PSU banks, greater independence and autonomy in decision-making, performance oriented boards. The merger will be a gigantic mess: have these guys heard of corporate culture? Regional strengths? — Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) August 30, 2019
Calling it a classic case of quacks turning into surgeons, Congress communications in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the "myopic BJP government" was pre-occupied in shoddy headline management and cover-up jobs when it should be addressing the structural issues ailing the economy. He also said that the "malady is much bigger than what it appears to be".
The myopic BJP government is pre-occupied in shoddy headline management and cover up job, instead of addressing the structural issues ailing the economy. This is a classic case of quacks turning into surgeons! 3/3#GDPinICU https://t.co/8HD7djbSFHhttps://t.co/pW0oecMZ9z — Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) August 30, 2019
DMK president MK Stalin said that the BJP should address real issues like job loss, industrial slump, and rural distress instead of speaking in "mere rhetoric and chest thumping".
The slowdown in the national economy is now evident from the abysmal GDP rate Will the BJP Government at least now wake up and start addressing real issues - job losses, industrial slump, rural distress - rather than speaking in mere rherotric and chest thumping? #EconomyCrisis — M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) August 30, 2019
The Samajwadi Party claimed that the drop in the GDP growth meant that jobs, stock market, farm sector, and development was destroyed and called the government "corrupt".
5% तक गिर चुकी GDP का मतलब है: नौकरियां नष्ट निवेश नष्ट शेयर बाजार नष्ट किसानी नष्ट तरक्की नष्ट खुशहाली नष्ट, सरकार भ्रष्ट! pic.twitter.com/7C2EOaa3kk — Samajwadi Party (@samajwadiparty) August 30, 2019
Meanwhile, Chief Economic Adviser KV Subramanian said the government was taking various steps to boost economic expansion. "The slowdown in growth is due to endogenous and exogenous factors," Subramanian said while commenting on the data, and expressed confidence that the country would be on a high-growth path "very soon".
Similar phenomena has also been observed previously before during Q4 (2012-13) and Q4 (2013-14), when growth was around 5%. Electricity & power generation, which is a leading indicator across the world, grew by 8.6% - a good sign of green shoots towards higher growth. (2/4) — K V Subramanian (@SubramanianKri) August 30, 2019
As #EcoSurvey2019 shows, investment is "critical driver" of economy with consumption being a key "force multiplier." Together with steps taken by Govt. for banks & financial sector, and structural reforms, investment should continue improving and drive economy to higher growth.
— K V Subramanian (@SubramanianKri) August 30, 2019
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Aug 30, 2019 22:03:31 IST