Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad | BJP Twitter
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad | BJP Twitter
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New Delhi: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Sunday withdrew his controversial statement, where he quoted box office returns of three Bollywood films to dismiss the economic slowdown.

“I had stated this as I was in Mumbai — the film capital of India. We are very proud of our film industry, which provides employment to lakhs of people and contributes significantly by way of taxes,” he said in a statement issued Sunday. 

“I had also explained in detail about various measures that the government has taken as a pro-people move to strengthen our economy. I regret to note that one part of my statement has been completely twisted out of context. Being a sensitive person, I withdraw this comment.”

‘Fond of movies’

Addressing a press conference Saturday, Prasad had said three movies released on 2 October had collectively earned Rs 120 crore in a day, which was a sign that India’s economy is sound. 

“I was information and broadcasting minister in former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government and I am fond of movies,” he said. “Movies have been doing huge business. Three movies released on 2 October, and film critic Komal Nahta told me that the national holiday saw earnings of Rs 120 crore by three movies… Rs 120 crore comes in a country which has a sound economy.”

India’s economic growth slowed to a six-year low of five per cent in the quarter that ended June 2019, following which Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government was coming up with sector-specific solutions to fight the slowdown in economic growth.

Sitharaman herself had drawn much criticism earlier this year when she attributed the slowdown in the automobile sector to millennials’ preference for ride-hailing apps such as Ola and Uber over buying cars.  

Also read: Raghuram Rajan says India losing its economic way, fiscal deficit ‘conceals’ a lot


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