The 2022 Economic Survey has revealed the intrinsic weakness of the economy and the Narendra Modi government's "gross mismanagement" on this front, the Congress said on Monday. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala termed the survey a "self-serving cheerful assessment" of the economy that raises doubts about what the Budget is set out to achieve.
He alleged the Economic Survey fails to assess the brutal impact of high prices on Indians and ignores the divide between the rich and the poor. "The Economic Survey 2022 is a classic case of 'what statistics say' versus 'what they actually reveal'. It clearly reveals the intrinsic weakness of the economy and the gross economic mismanagement by the Modi government," Surjewala said in a series of tweets.
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He said the growth numbers reveal that even in the financial year 2021-22, the economy will be of the same size as in 2019-20 fiscal and the government should be "ashamed of the economic ruin caused by misplaced priorities". The Congress leader claimed that the "two lost years" have pushed 4.6 crore people into abject poverty and 84 per cent of families have seen wage reduction.
"Economic Survey 2022 fails to assess the brutal impact of high prices on Indians with massive job losses and erosion of incomes! It ignores the divide as income of richest Indians increased by 13 lakh crore, the poorest 15 crore households have seen income reduction of 53 per cent," Surjewala said. "Self-serving cheerful assessment of economy raises doubts about what the Budget is set out to achieve — which should be to stimulate the ailing economy, revive sectors, boost consumption, encourage investment and create jobs — none of which the survey insists is a problem at all."
He said the private final consumption expenditure per capita is still 5 per cent less than the 2019-20 level before the Covid pandemic struck India. "For 8-8.5 per cent GDP growth, we require investment to GDP ratio of 38.25 per cent. But who will invest when demand isn't picking up in the economy? Is 8 to 8.5 per cent GDP growth for FY 23 another jumla (rhetoric)," Surjewala posed.
The total debt of the Government of India, which was Rs 53 lakh crore in March 2014, would blow up to Rs 136 lakh crore by March 2022. If Revenue expectations are too good and on target as reflected in Survey, why will each Indian owe Rs 1 lakh by March 2022, a loan they have never taken, he asked. "Lastly, classic case of failed MODINOMICS! Estimate Interest Payment for FY 22 is 54.6 per cent of total tax revenue for the central government. It shows an economy trapped in the vicious cycle of Debt wherein we have to raise more debts to pay interest on time," the Congress general secretary tweeted.
India will retain its tag of the world's fastest-growing major economy as the pre-Budget Economic Survey on Monday forecast an 8-8.5 per cent GDP growth in the fiscal year starting in April, saying it has the fiscal space to do more to support the economy and is well placed to meet the future challenges. India is poised to wrest the title world-beating economy tag this fiscal with a projected growth of 9.2 per cent, and the widespread vaccine coverage, supply-side reforms and easing of regulations are going to support it in the next.
The Economic Survey — an annual report card of the economy — presented in Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, also warned about risks from global inflation and pandemic-related disruptions.