Media worst affected, mass job losses due to Covid: Supriya Shrinate
The Congress National Spokesperson was speaking to Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now
Coming down heavily on the Narendra Modi government for economic de-growth, unemployment and job losses, Congress National Spokesperson Supriya Shrinate has said that even before the Covid pandemic struck India, the economy had been falling down for eight consecutive quarters.
The former journalist said that while the world’s economy was rising India’s growth rate was dropping. She cited the example of media where mass layoffs have taken place for technicians, cameraperson, producers, production assistants, journalists and others. “These people are not going to find jobs. Who is responsible for this ruin? Who is responsible for the catastrophy that we have embarked the Indian economy on?”
Shrinate was in a live conversation with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now, for the Visionary Talk series held by the public policy and governance analysis platform.
“The Indian economy began to slip because of inefficiency, incompetence and decision making of this government. From FY 2017 to FY 2020, the GDP growth rate halved. From 8.2% growth it slipped to 4.3% in FY 2020 and the economy will contract further in FY 2021.Even before Covid, the Indian economy kept falling down for eight consecutive quarters .While the world was growing our growth rate was dropping,” Shrinate said.
Coming down heavily on the Narendra Modi government, she added that “even before the pandemic our unemployment had hit a 45-year high due to demonetization and the hurriedly imposed GST has led to economic ruin”. She said that concept of ease of doing business is Mumbai and Delhi centric and with the World Bank too saying that the ratings system is flawed you are chasing wrong post.
Shrinate said that besides the GDP growth, GDP volume is also shrinking. Economic opportunities, job creation, self-employment and wages are coming down. While speaking on the government’s 2nd tranche of Rs 20 lakh crore Atmanirbhar package, which the govt said is 10% of India’s GDP, Shrinate said that when along with senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, various researchers , global observers, economists and even the employees of the current govt they sat down together and calculated, they realized that the fresh expenditure outlay was in fact only Rs 1.86 lakh crore, which is less than 1% of the GDP. Everything else was the refurbished Union Budget announced in February 2020.
She criticized the government was pushing for loans when people are uncertain about their jobs and wages could be reduced to half. “Will those people take loans,” she asked.
She said that out of the government’s allocated Rs 3 lakh crore loans to MSMEs, the reason why half of this money is still lying with the government is that people don’t know how they will repay these loans in current economic situation.
Shrinate said instead the government should boost consumption, which will increase production and lead to employment of more people and result in job creation. “Otherwise economic revival will only be a pipe dream.”
While responding to a question on the UP government clearing a draft ordinance against forceful inter-faith conversions or the so called ‘love jihad’, Shrinate said that despite existing laws against forced conversion and the fact that in 1968 the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh had come out with a law on forced conversions if there was any attempt to entice a person through money, opportunities etc. Despite the fact that there are at least up to 10 Sections of the Indian Penal Code that can be enforced if there is forced conversion or any trace of proof that a marriage was done by forced conversion, why did the government not rely on existing laws.
“Because the word ‘love jihad’ is going to polarize and denotes what you want this society to be. It is blatant, naked, shameless and a demeaning attempt to polarize,” she said, adding that as a young Indian she finds it ridiculous and belittling that two consenting individuals cannot decide who they want to marry.
Citing the example of Allahabad High Court judgment earlier in the month where it said that right to live with a person of his or her choice irrespective of religion professed by them is intrinsic to the right to life and personal liberty, Shrinate said the Tanishq ad was reflective of the plurality of Indian culture and a celebration of motherhood.
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