New Delhi: The Congress held Monday the BJP-led central government responsible for the price rise. It said the government’s its decisions have hit hard 25 crore households in India and widened the divide between the rich and the poor.
Initiating a debate on the issue of the price rise in Lok Sabha, Congress member Manish Tewari alleged that savings, investment, production, consumption and employment, the five pillars of the economy, have been blown away due to the wrong policies of the Union government.
“During the UPA regime, 27 crore people were brought above the poverty line. Then it was learnt from a report, which was made public in 2021, that as many as 23 crore people are once again below the poverty line,” Tewari said.
While the number of billionaires in India increased from 100 to 142 in these years, the income of those in the lower strata has been decreasing day by day, Tewari pointed out. He said it is ‘unfortunate’ that 77 per cent of the country’s wealth is in the hands of one per cent of the population and the wealth of the 92 richest persons in India put together is equal to that of 55 crore Indians. “There can’t be bigger inequality than this in our country,” asserted Tewari.
The situations arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic would be a factor leading to the current economic scenario but India’s economy had already started weakening with the government’s decision to demonetise high-value currency notes November 8, 2016, Tewari stated.
After the note ban, the government brought in GST implementation which hit at least 2.30 lakh small industries. “This note ban and GST not just impacted medium and small scale industries but employment also,” he said.
Slamming the government over the GST hike, Tewari said, “You have increased the GST on flour, curd, paneer, pencil and sharpener. You did not spare even children. The Congress leader said he was ‘hurt’ when 18 per cent GST was imposed on ‘crematoriums’.