Rajya Sabha

January 4, 2018

Sukhendu Sekhar Roy speaks during a Short Duration Discussion on the state of the economy

Sukhendu Sekhar Roy speaks during a Short Duration Discussion on the state of the economy


Thank you, Sir. Citizens of the country are deeply concerned with the economic situation prevailing now. Because in every sector, in every field, the Government has failed majorly. Why I am saying so? Because of the introduction of the demonetisation, which according to Supreme Court was carpet bombing on the citizens and secondly the mismanagement of GST. These double shocks have created the situation.

If we go through the figures quickly, first of all GDP growth. I remember when we were discussing demonetisaton issue, in this House Dr Manmohan Singh , on record he said that according to his estimates there will be about 2% decline in the GDP growth. Now everybody is saying that the GDP growth has already declined and compared to 8% in 2015-2016 it came down to 7.1% into 2016-2017.

And now even as per SBI research… its chief economist said, “it is difficult for GDP to cross 7% this fiscal.” Similarly other people have said so.

Sir, if you look at the Gross Fixed Capital Formation, investment rate measured at the ratio of the Gross fixed capital formation to GDP at current prices was further down to 26.9% from 28.1% indicating that corporate have not been investing in capital creation. This is a major area of concern.

Second is Industrial growth. Manufacturing and electricity sector output is lower compared to previous years. The used-based classification reveals that barring non-durable consumer goods, all other sector witnessed lower growth rates. And the forecast is that industrial growth for the year is only 4.4-5%.

Agriculture is another major area. India lives in villages which was said by Gandhi Ji. Farmers are not getting remunerative prices. They are helpless and are committing suicide. In page 19 of BJP Manifesto, they promised to double the income of farmers. Nothing has happened so far and suicides are increasing.

Government Finances: As per the latest data released by the Government for the period April to November, 2017 the Fiscal deficit is 112% of the target, while the Revenue Deficit is 152.2% of the budgeted amount. This has prompted the government to announce an additional borrowing programme of the Rs 50,000 crore for the year. The Fiscal deficit number would go up to 3.5% of the GDP for the financial year, 2018 estimated by some expert. I am not an expert, but these are the views of the experts.

So far the Banking sector is concerned, we have talked about, we have discussed at length, I need not repeat it. But the credit goes to manufacturing and services sector. For April-October (it was) negative while that to agricultural and personal loan segment is 7.7%.

External sector – While growth in exports was at 12 per cent for the period April-November, 2017, a little better than the earlier time, imports too surged by 21.9% leading to a higher trade deficit of 100 billion dollars, compared to 60 billion dollars last year.

No doubt, foreign direct investment has increased. But did it create any jobs in the country? I have every doubt. The country has gone through 10 years of jobless growth. The BJP Manifesto promised to the nation that “under the broader economic revival, BJP will accord high priority to job creation and opportunities for entrepreneurship.”

Even the Hon Prime Minister, in his speech in Agra, had promised to create two crore jobs (subject to correction) every year. And see the condition now. Three years after coming to power, the number of jobs created has decreased from 2.47 million to 1.51 million. Unemployment has increased.

According to the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development Report, 2017, rate of employment has declined and job creation has not kept up with the growing market of working-age population. More than 30% of Indians, within the age of 15-29 years, are neither in employment or in education or training.

You brought schemes like Skill Development, but what is the condition of the youth of the country? Thirty per cent youth of the country are not in employment. They do not have any jobs. We take pride in calling our country a nation of the youths. But if they do not have jobs, how will we progress?

Sir, now I will conclude. It is the demand of our party to probe Panama papers and Paradise papers. We do not know whether the names included in Panama papers had illegal or legal money. And now 700 new names have been added to the list with Paradise papers. What probe has the government conducted? They must come clean on the names of those involved.

There is a super-emergency like situation in the country. People are worried about the security of their deposits in banks, thanks to draconian Bill that the government is bringing. And then there is the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. Companies are not sure whether they will be declared bankrupt or not.

So, we want to this government to come out with a White Paper on black money, like the previous government had done.

Thank you, Sir.