April 04, 2020
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Rajya Sabha

'How Can You Expect That This Economy Will Revive?'

'When the PM says, "fundamentals are strong", I would like to know what those fundamentals are... you are trying to weaken these fundamentals'

'How Can You Expect That This Economy Will Revive?'

The CPI leader replies to the PM's statement

We are thankful to the Prime Minister for giving an elaborate statement and the response to the current economic crisis, the current crisis of the country. It is good that the Prime Minister has acknowledged that inflation is high in India. In fact, the common people, the working people, are compelled to pay through their noses for all essential commodities which they buy.

The Prime Minister takes some solace in comparing the Indian rupee with the Brazilian Real, the Turkrish Lira, the Indonesian Rupiah, etc. But, according to economists, the Indian currency is the lowest in the world. That is what the Journals say. Presently, the value of the Indian rupee has gone down to the lowest, and the real value is almost one-third of what we are seeing today. This is what the economists say, and our economist Prime Minister should respond to that.

Repeatedly, the Prime Minister has mentioned in his long statement that our fundamentals are strong. When he says, "fundamentals are strong", I would like to know what those fundamentals are.

According to me, fundamentals are public sector undertakings, public sector banking industry and public sector insurance industry.

When the Prime Minister talks about banking, the Indian banking sector has been raising bad loans. Let us be forthright. It is the NPA which has crossed Rs 2,50,000 crores in the country. And we are thinking of opening up the banking sector.

In the insurance sector, we are thinking of increasing the FDI from 26 per cent to 49 per cent.

Thus the Government is weakening the public sector financial institutions, public sector banking industry and the public sector insurance industry.

Then, the Prime Minister is emphatic when he says that there is no question of reversing these policies just because there is some turbulence in capital and currency markets. I would humbly submit that the time has come for the Government to review the experience of the two decades of our pursuit of neo-liberal economic policies and see what our assessment of these policies are. And, the Prime Minister says that there is no question of reversing these policies.

I, strongly, feel that the Government must review the present policies and it should go for course-correction. Otherwise, the country needs some alternative policies. The country needs a paradigm shift in our economic development. And with the present paradigm of economic crisis, I do not see any hope for the revival of the Indian economy.

You can blame it on global factor. I remember the Prime Minister, from the same seat, during the last discussion, saying that there was a crisis in America, there was a crisis in the European Union, but the Indian economy could withstand it because our fundamentals were strong. I repeat: What are those fundamentals? Do you have any different fundamentals? I am defining what these fundamentals are. But you are trying to weaken these fundamentals. And, how can you safeguard the economy and how can you expect that this economy will revive?

That is where the Government should have an open mind to review some of the policies and go for post-corrections. I hope that the Prime Minister will respond to some of these issues

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