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State of economy an extreme concern; need policy overhaul: Congress

State of economy an extreme concern; need policy overhaul: Congress

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Udaipur: The Indian economy is in a state of extreme concern as the foreign exchange has depleted by $36 billion, the Congress party said on Saturday. Stating that a slower rate of growth was the hallmark of the Union government for the last eight years, Congress demanded an overhaul of economic policies, IANS reported.

The revamping of policies must address rising inequalities, extreme poverty among the bottom 10 per cent of the population, India's rank in the Global Hunger Index 2021 (101 out of 116 countries) and evidence of widespread nutritional deficiency among women and children, Congress said.

The party said that the post-pandemic recovery has been indifferent and halting, while the growth estimate of 2022-23 has been lowered from time to time for the last five months. It said that inflation has been soaring to unacceptable levels and is still threatening to rise further, pointing out that WPI inflation is at 14.55 per cent and CPI inflation is at 7.79 per cent.

"The government is actually fueling the rise of inflation by its wrong policies, especially through high taxes on petrol and diesel, high administered prices and high GST tax rates," senior party leader Chidambaram said.

Regarding the employment situation, The Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) is at a historic low of 40.38 per cent, and the unemployment rate stands at 7.83 per cent, Chidambaram said. "We reiterate our charge that social services expenditure as a proportion of total expenditure has fallen to an average of 5 per cent (in 8 years) from an average of 9 per cent in the 10 years between 2004 and 2014," he added.

Asserting that external factors added pressure on the Indian economy, Chidambaram said, "$22 billion has flowed out of the country in the last seven months. The foreign exchange reserves have been depleted by $36 billion. The exchange rate stands at Rs 77.48 to a dollar, the highest ever."

Chidambaram claimed that the Congress-led government in the Centre introduced liberalisation in1991, starting a new era. It had created wealth, new businesses and entrepreneurs, expanded the middle class and millions of jobs and lifted 27 crore people out of poverty.

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TAGS:CongressIndian EconomyCentreP Chidambaram
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