Last 10 years 'dark decade' for our economy: Cong slams BJP for Manmohan criticism

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 03-04-2024 20:45 IST | Created: 03-04-2024 20:45 IST
Last 10 years 'dark decade' for our economy: Cong slams BJP for Manmohan criticism
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The Congress on Wednesday hit back at the BJP over its criticism of former prime minister Manmohan Singh, saying that while his government's tenure transformed India's economy and society, the last 10 years have been a ''dark decade'' for the economy.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh's attack on the BJP came after the saffron party's IT department head Amit Malviya criticised Singh's tenure as prime minister, saying not only did he preside over the most corrupt government in independent India's history, but also made Indians poorer.

Slamming the BJP leader, Ramesh said, ''Mr. Amit Malviya, BJP's troll master, has reached a new height of absurdity and malicious deceit today. He is well known for lying about statistics, but today he has decided to invent a new statistic to lie about!'' Noting that Singh is retiring today after 33 years in public service, Ramesh said that instead of showing him even a little respect, and having even a tiny shred of decency, Malviya has chosen to slander Singh.

''Neither (Prime Minister) Mr. Narendra Modi nor Mr. Malviya can ever even remotely approach Dr Manmohan Singh's contributions to the making of modern India. He is a man who speaks little and accomplishes much. He is a man who never indulges in self-glory but is prepared to give credit to others, including critics and opponents, where it is due,'' the Congress leader said.

Ramesh said the former prime minister is the symbol of simplicity, austerity, and integrity.

''Instead of these nonsensical distortions that sprang from Mr. Malviya's overactive imagination, here are the plain and simple facts on GDP per capita, based on IMF data: From 2004-2014, India's nominal GDP per capita went from USD 635 to USD 1,560 - a growth of 145 per cent. From 2014-2024, India's nominal GDP per capita went from USD 1,560 to USD 2,850 - a growth of 82 per cent,'' he said.

''India's total GDP, adjusted for inflation, grew by 7.5 per cent per year under Dr Singh, compared to just 5.8 per cent under Modi,'' the Congress leader said.

The 10 years of Manmohan Singh's tenure transformed India's economy and society for the better, Ramesh asserted and pointed out that 27 crore people were lifted out of poverty and legislations like MGNREGA and the National Food Security Act provided a lifeline to India's people, whether they were in poverty, dealing with the shocks of demonetisation or Covid, or unable to find employment.

''Real wages for unskilled labourers grew 285 per cent, compared to just 60 per cent during Modi's misrule. MSP for paddy grew by 140 per cent, versus just 55 per cent under the kisaan-virodhi BJP. Foreign Direct Investment doubled, from 0.8 per cent to 1.7 per cent of GDP. Under Modi, it has fallen to just 1.5 per cent of GDP,'' Ramesh said.

He claimed that exports grew by 320 per cent, compared with just 50 per cent in the last 10 years.

''Development is defined by people shifting from farming and unstable self-employment to factories and stable, salaried jobs. Dr Singh oversaw a record shift away from agriculture – under Modi, there has instead been an unprecedented increase in the absolute number of people employed in agriculture,'' he claimed.

Under Singh, salaried workers increased from 18.5 per cent to 23 per cent of all workers, while self-employment decreased from 55 per cent to 51 per cent, Ramesh said.

The reverse has happened under Modi -- salaried workers have decreased from 23 per cent to 21 per cent, while self-employed have increased from 51 per cent to 57 per cent, he argued.

''By every yardstick, the last 10 years have been a dark decade for our economy. The people of India and their personal stories of distress are a testament to this. We will all bear witness on the 4th of June,'' Ramesh said.

The counting of votes of the seven-phase Lok Sabha polls -- to be held between April 19 and June 1 -- is scheduled for June 4.

In his post on X, Malviya had earlier said, former Prime Minister Singh retired from Rajya Sabha after 33 years and held the top job between 2004-14.

''During his tenure as Prime Minister, Dr Singh, who is hailed as an erudite economist, made India poor. Here is the data from IMF: Under the UPA, led by Dr Singh, India's per capita GDP as '%' of developing countries (including China) reduced from 35 per cent to 30 per cent. Earlier, AB Vajpayee had raised it from 30 per cent to 35 per cent (1998-2004). Now, Prime Minister Modi has again pulled it back, and has raised it from 30 per cent to 42 per cent (2014-24),'' Malviya said.

''...Not only Dr Manmohan Singh preside over the most corrupt govt in independent India's history, he also made Indians poorer. On the contrary, prime ministers Vajpayee and Modi made Indians richer,'' the BJP leader said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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