Acting Finance Minister Piyush Goyal presented a significant Interim Budget 2019 today where he announced numerous benefits to farmers, the middle class and MSMEs. With the various announcements that were made, it was natural for the Congress party to feel jittery about its electoral prospects ahead of General Elections later this year.
In a thread, it has made some quite a few misleading arguments to downplay the significance of Piyush Goyal’s speech.
The Congress party appears to have picked two years randomly to assert that the GDP growth rate was better under its rule. This cherry-picking of data does not depict reality very accurately.
The GDP growth rate was 6.72% in 2008-09, 8.59% in 2009-10, 8.91% in 2010-11, 6.69% in 2011-12, 4.47% in 2012-13 and 6.6% in 2013-14. Compared to UPA-II, the Modi government’s GDP growth rate has been 7.2% in 2014-15, 7.9% in 2015-16, 8.2% in 2016-17 and 7.2% in 2017-18. It shows that while the GDP growth rate fell drastically during the later years of the UPA regime, the NDA government has consistently maintained a growth rate of above 7%.
Moreover, the BJP government has controlled the high rates of inflation remarkably and brought it under 4%. The Congress also appears to have forgotten that India is the fastest growing major economy in the world currently.
In another tweet, the Congress said that Goyal was wrong to assert that the Modi government put Mizoram and Tripura on the railway map for the first time.
While it is true that railways have been operating in Tripura even before the NDA government came to power in 2014, it is only during Prime Minister Modi’s tenure that Broad Gauge services have reached the state. And it is only during this government’s rule that the state has been connected to the rest of the country through Broad gauge.
As for Mizoram, the 84.25 km broad gauge railway line from Katakhal Junction to Bairabi railway stations was sanctioned in 2000 but it was only in 2016 that the project was completed. Therefore, it is a straightforward lie by the Congress party that Modi government didn’t put the state on the rail map of India for the first time.
The Congress also appears to have lied outright when it claims that 3.65 million houses have been constructed by the Modi government. It claims that till December 2018, 1.25 million houses were constructed under the Urban Housing Scheme and 2.4 million houses constructed under the Rural Housing Scheme.
However, as per an Economic Times report in August 2018, over 1 crore houses had been constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin since 2014. As per another report by Business Standard in September, last year, about 9 lakh homes had been constructed under the Urban Housing scheme. Considering the time that has passed since then, the figure of 1.53 crores stated by Piyush Goyal appears to be an extremely reasonable figure.
The Congress party is still continuing with its narrative that Demonetization was a disaster.
As Goyal quite clearly stated today, Demonetization brought to light that the anti-Black Money drive has brought an undisclosed income of Rs. 1.30 lakh crore rupees to the fore and over 3 lakh shell companies have been deregistered as a consequence. We, at OpIndia.com, have continuously reported on the various ways in which demonetization has helped fix the economy.