Press Trust of india

Cong blames BJP govt’s policies for price rise

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New Delhi: The Congress on Monday held the BJP-led central government responsible for the price rise, saying its decisions have hit hard 25 crore households in the country 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, “ he 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, he said.

He said it is “unfortunate” that 77 per cent of the country’s wealth is in the hands of one percent of the population and the wealth of the 92 most rich persons in India put together is equal to that of 55 crore Indians.

“There can’t be bigger inequality than this in our country,” he said

The situations arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic would be a factor leading to the current economic scenario but the country’s economy had already started weakening with the government’s decision to demonetise high-value currency notes on November 8, 2016, he charged.

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.

To join the league of the developed countries, about two third of a country’s eligible population should have employment. “But, in India, just about 40 crore people have jobs today,” Tewari said.

To become a developed country, the number of people employed in the country has to increase to 84 crore. “But this government, unfortunately, doesn’t have any strategy for this,” he charged.

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”.

Hitting out at the government over the rise in fuel prices, Tewari said the Centre collected Rs 27 lakh crore through “tax, excise duty and dividend” in the petroleum sector to swell its coffers but did not pass on the benefits to the people.

“The government may have streamlined its own budget, but has completely spoiled the life of country’s 25 crore households…. every homemaker is in tears,” he said, and asked the government, “What kind of nation are you building?”

Opposition parties had stalled Parliament proceedings for days demanding a debate on price rise.

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