Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Wednesday lashed out at Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for her remarks during a press conference in Chennai over the state of economy.
Addressing media in Chennai on Tuesday, the Finance Minister had said, "The automobile and components industry has been affected by BS6 and the mindsets of millennials who now prefer to have Ola and Uber rather than committing to buying an automobile." She also said that a dip in GDP is ‘part of growth’.
Sharply reacting to her remarks, Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the gross overstatement made by the FM is a grave joke on the poor state of the economy. She must self-expunge her remarks and apologies from the nation.
He pointed out that the mobile app-based car booking system and the auto sector can not 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.
This should also be remembered that the slowdown isn’t affecting auto companies alone, but its impact is felt across sectors, throughout the economy. Have Ola and Uber become this powerful that they can impact the economy at such a large scale? asked Singhvi.
Quoting data, the Congress leader pointed out that the trend of the slowdown in the automobile industry did not come all of a sudden. The 31% fall in sales is also the ninth straight drop in monthly passenger vehicle sales. Sales have fallen in 12 of the 13 months since July 2018, underscoring the sharp slowdown in demand in the world’s fourth-largest automobile market.
Taking a jibe at the Finance Minister he said if we apply the FM’s logic, then are landlords and Millennials going for rented accommodation responsible for the recession in the real estate sector also?
He again quoted data which indicate that the real estate sector is also going through major slow down and cash crunch.
Going by the same logic as given by the Finance Minister, are Spendthrift overspending homemakers similarly responsible for the rising Fiscal Deficit, as per the FM’s logic? Is the money overspent by them leading to an imbalance in the economy’s balance sheet? Singhvi asked and then pointing out various reasons for the rising fiscal deficit he pointed out that a major reason for the drastic increase in the fiscal deficit is the off-budget spending by the government. It reflects the unplanned nature and inefficient governance by the BJP.
In the same manner the Congress leader lashed out at the Finance Minister pointing out various aspects of the economic slowdown; falling direct foreign investment, crashing stock markets, decline in export figures, falling GDP figures and the government’s failure in tackling fraudulent loan cases.
The senior Congress leader then raised certain questions that the government must respond to during the economic slowdown that the country is facing: