Tribune press service
New Delhi, June 1
Former finance minister and congressional veteran P Chidambaram said on Tuesday that India experienced negative annual growth for the first time since 1979-80 and called on the government to print money to improve cash and expenses.
In a statement, Chidambaram said there were no surprises in the note released by the National Statistical Office on provisional estimates of annual national income for 2020-2021.
“As expected, GDP at constant prices registered negative (-) 7.3 percent growth, the first time India has recorded negative annual growth since 1979-80. Three constant price GDP figures will highlight the alarming state of the economy: 2018-19: Rs 140,03,316 crore; 2019-20: Rs 145.69.268 crore; 2020-21: Rs 135,12,740 crore. The increase in 2019-2020 was modest at 4.0%, but the decline in 2020-2021 was severe at -7.3%. The net result is that the GDP in 2020-21 is lower than the GDP of two years ago (2018-19). 2020-2021 has been the darkest year in the economy for four decades, ”said the former minister.
He said the first two quarters of 2020-2021 saw a recession (-24.4 and -7.4%).
“The performance of the third and fourth quarters did not signal a recovery. The estimated rates of 0.5 percent and 1.6 percent were due to a very low base of 3.3 and 3.0 percent in the corresponding quarters of the previous year, ”he added. .
Chidambaram also noted that when the first wave of the pandemic seemed to subside last year, the finance minister and his chief economic adviser began to see “green shoots” when no one else did. did.
“They predicted a V-shaped recovery. It was a false story and we had expressed our strong reservations and warned that there was no sign of a recovery. We stressed that what the economy needed was a strong dose of stimulus, including increased public spending, direct cash transfers to the poor, and liberal distribution of free rations. Our calls have fallen on deaf ears, and the result is negative growth of (-) 7.3 percent, ”said the congressional leader.
He described as “very worrying” the fact that the GDP per capita has fallen below Rs 1 lakh, to Rs 99,694.
As a percentage, this is a decrease of (-) 8.2% compared to the previous year. It is below the level reached in 2018-19 (and maybe even 2017-18), Chidambaram said.
He concluded that most Indians today are poorer than they were two years ago although the current state of the economy is largely due to the impact of the pandemic , it was made worse by the “inept and incompetent” economic management of the BJP. Government NDA.
“The good advice of distinguished economists and renowned institutions has been rejected. The global experience has been ignored. Suggestions for fiscal expansion and cash transfers were rejected. Hollow packages like Atmanirbhar fell flat, Chidambaram went on a rampage.
The ex-minister called for fiscal expansion, including cash transfers to the poor, citing research from Aziz Premji University that found 23 million people were pushed below the poverty line and into debt.
Chidambaram said, as advised by Nobel Laureate Dr Abhijit Banerjee, that the government should print money and increase spending.