New Delhi: Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra on Tuesday cited government data showing industrial contraction to question the Centre’s handling of the economy, and asked who is the ‘Pappu’ now? Participating in a debate in Lok Sabha on demands for additional grants for 2022-23, Moitra accused the Narendra Modi government of spreading “falsehood” about India’s growth and appealed to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to take control of the economy, which, according to the TMC leader, is going downhill.
Referring to the latest data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), Moitra claimed that while the country’s industrial output shrunk by four per cent in October to a 26-month low, the manufacturing sector, which is “still the biggest generator of jobs”, contracted by 5.6 per cent.
“Seventeen of the industry sectors that make up the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) have recorded negative growth. Forex reserves have fallen by 72 billion dollars in under a year,” she said.
The manufacturing sector’s output declined by 5.6 per cent in October 2022 as against a growth of 3.3 per cent recorded in the year-ago month, according to the IIP data released by the NSO.
“This government and the ruling party coined the term Pappu. You use it to denigrate and signify extreme incompetence. But the statistics tell us who the actual Pappu is,” Moitra said.
She also took a swipe at the BJP over its defeat in the just-concluded Himachal Pradesh assembly elections, saying the ruling party’s president could not hold on to his home state. “Who is the Pappu now?” she asked.
Himachal Pradesh is the home state of BJP national president JP Nadda and in the elections, the Congress wrested the state from his party. Of the 68 assembly seats in the state, the Congress won 40, the BJP bagged 25 and Independents got three. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday mentioned during the Question Hour how 50 per cent of Foreign Institutional Investors inflows into emerging markets are coming to India, but the government in reply to a question told the House last Friday that almost 2 lakh people renounced their Indian citizenship in the first 10 months of 2022, Moitra said.
“This exodus of 2022 takes the total number of Indians renouncing Indian citizenship under this government in the past nine years since 2014 to over 12.5 lakh people,” she said.
“Is this sign of a healthy economic environment or a healthy tax environment (in the country)?” she asked, adding, “Who is the Pappu now?” The TMC member alleged that there is an “atmosphere of terror” in the country today with the “sword” of the Enforcement Directorate hanging over “businessmen and high-net worth individuals” as well as leaders of opposition parties.
“The ruling party buys lawmakers for hundreds of crores of rupees and yet members of the opposition represent 95 per cent of the lawmakers under investigation by the Enforcement Directorate,” Moitra alleged.
She accused the government of spreading falsehood over India’s growth story under Prime Minister Modi and said demonetisation of high value currency enforced by it 2016 had failed to achieve its targets as cash is “still king” and phasing out of fake currency is still a distant dream.
“This government has us believe in every February that this country’s economy is going great guns, we are the fastest growing most efficient global player, everyone is getting employment, cylinders, electricity and pucca houses. This falsehood flies for eight to 10 months and the truth comes out limping after it,” The TMC leader said.
“We are now in December and the government says it needs another 3.26 lakh crores as additional funds over and above the budget estimates,” she said. PTI PK PK ANB ANB ANB
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