Tuesday, 4 October, 2022
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‘Indian economy is rebounding’ — BJP defends Modi govt in social media campaign

BJP's official Twitter handle has released an animated video featuring two friends, Sarthak and Ramesh, with an aim to assuage concerns about the economy.

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New Delhi: The Indian economy is in the red, with the Covid-19 lockdown adding to earlier slowdown blues, but the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) doesn’t want this to hurt the Narendra Modi government’s image.

On Thursday, the official Twitter handle of the BJP released an animated video featuring two friends — Sarthak and Ramesh — with an aim to assuage concerns about the economy, even suggesting that it is on the mend. The video is titled “The true picture of contraction in India’s GDP and economic recovery”.

India’s economy contracted by a record 23.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2020-21 as the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent nationwide lockdown impacted manufacturing, construction and service sectors like hotels and transportation. The economy had grown at 5.2 per cent in the corresponding year-ago period.

There’s dismal news from other fronts too, with data from the Controller General of Accounts showing India’s fiscal deficit zoomed to 103 per cent of the full-year budget estimates in the April-July period, indicating the negative impact of the pandemic on the economy and consequently on revenue collections.

The BJP video is centred on Sarthak expressing concerns about the state of the economy, and Ramesh seeking to tackle them by citing measures taken by the Modi government. By the end of the video, which is just over 5 minutes long, Sarthak is convinced to keep faith in the government.


Also Read: SBI report says rural economy is losing steam, flags rising unemployment and fall in wages


‘Modi is right choice’

The video begins with Sarthak asking Ramesh how his business is going now that it has reopened, a reference to the lockdown. 

Ramesh replies it would have been difficult, but wasn’t because he was able to get a loan that “helped me restart my business”. He then explains how the central government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme has eased loans for the MSME sector.

“Loans are getting disbursed very swiftly. Since May end, loans worth over Rs 1 lakh crore have already been disbursed,” he says. 

“If things are moving so nicely on the business front, then why have (sic) the GDP for India contracted in negative as it’s been reported everywhere?” Sarthak asks.

Ramesh then goes on to cite a number of initiatives taken by the Modi government, seeking to explain how it performed well even during the pandemic.

“We already are recovering, there have been major offshoots. Petroleum and power consumption have improved from June and GST collections are showing healthy signs during the unlocking period. Nearly 5 million e-way bills were generated in July 2020 in comparison with June 2020. Indian Railways loaded more freight in July 2020 compared to July 2019,” he says. “All these are sound indicators that the Indian economy is rebounding.” 

He also cites the funds being transferred to farmers, senior citizens, divyangs, labourers, and the lockdown food aid being provided to “80 crore poor people for 8 months”. A mention is also made of the two fund transfers of Rs 500 each into the accounts of domestic helps. 

“Do you know that India has attracted $22 billion worth of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) during the lockdown itself, with more than 90 per cent of this coming through the automatic route?” Ramesh says. To this, Sarthak responds that he has heard about “biggies like Apple, Amazon etc investing in Make in India”. 

The video offers the argument that while the economy of all major nations have suffered on account of the pandemic, India has done a much better job controlling the fatality rate. 

“The contraction in the GDP was for the April to June quarter when there was a complete lockdown. The priority was to save lives. There was absolutely no economic activity barring supply of essential services,” says Ramesh.

“And no data is sanctimonious without perspective. Compare India’s contraction for this quarter to the data available for other major economies. GDP of the US has contracted to minus 9.5 per cent (then he mentions EU, UK), and don’t forget India has done much better in containing the fatality rate than these countries,” he adds.

Don’t forget, he says, that “we are going through an unprecedented situation”. “Just a few months earlier, no one had a clue which way humanity was headed. Things changed every day and no one had the benefit of hindsight wisdom. Our government led by PM Modi has shown remarkable foresight. Can anyone deny this?” Ramesh adds.

He then says Modi “is the right choice”. “By choosing him, you are choosing new India, an India which will be self reliant and will be a global leader in the near future. Every action of this government puts the nation first. We will win together,” adds Ramesh. 


Also Read: India’s fiscal crisis can only get worse as tax revenue is seen dropping 12.5% in 2020-21


 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Let us all drink govt cool-aid and sing paeans in praise of the great leader. That is sufficient for our economy to rebound. And if you are still bored, there is always the SSR saga playing on TV.

  2. But if the economy and financials were good, you don’t need a feel-good video, do you? Or does everything boil down to keep people on social media happy.

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