BJP slams government over economic situation (Lead)

June 12th, 2012 - 9:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday slammed the Congress-led government charging it with “policy paralysis” for the downturn in the economic situation, a day after international rating agency Standard and Poor’s warned that India may lose its investment-grade rating due to slowing growth and political road-blocks.

Congress, however, hit back saying the survey was not “cast in stone”. The party also blamed the downfall to the global situation and rubbished the charge of “policy paralysis”.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said the government “as usual, is in a denial mode” over the report.

“You may reject this report but investors across the world do not reject it. Ultimately India’s cost of international borrowing will rise,” Javadekar said said.

Less than two months after cutting its rating outlook for the country, S&P; also said that India could become the first of the BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa - economies to lose its investment-grade status.

Javadekar’s comments come on a day when government data showed industrial production growth rate slowed to a meagre 0.1 per cent in April.

“All over the world, they are discussing what has happened to India’s growth story. Will Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee deny this as well,” Javadekar questioned.

“It is the policy paralysis of government which has resulted in this (economic situation),” he said blaming it on “inner conflicts” within the government.

“The policy paralysis we have been witnessing is because of the conflict within the Congress, between Congress and government, between 10 Janpath (residence of Congress President Sonia Gandhi) and 7 RCR (residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh)… There is conflict within the cabinet and within the coalition. That is why our economy is not moving by what its potential is,” he said.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari, rubbishing the S&P; report, said: “S&P; is another credit rating agency. It may have an opinion, but it is not a gospel, nor is it cast in stone.”

He also said the same report highlighted the achievements which were also under the same UPA government.

“Probably BJP has not read that report,” Tewari said.

“First of all it is the view of the rating agency. As far as the Indian economy is concerned, the basics are strong. The same S&P; report says the economy grew at 8.8 percent during 2004-08, and 7.8 percent 2009-11. During this entire period was Sonia Gandhi not chairperson of UPA? Was Dr Manmohan Singh not the prime minister? Why didn’t this difference manifest earlier,” he said.

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