Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday dismissed as a “lie” the 11% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate projected by the Centre in the Economic Survey 2021-22.
“They have lied in the Economic Survey,” he told reporters in Mysuru while accusing the Narendra Modi-led BJP government of lying to conceal its “total failure” in handling the country’s economy.
Mr. Siddaramaiah pointed out that the GDP, which was growing at a rate of 8% to 9% during the reign of Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister, had started falling gradually ever since Mr. Modi assumed office in 2014. The country’s economy, which has contracted by 7.7% during 2020-21, had grown by just 4.2% during the preceding year of 2019-20, which was before COVID-19 struck, he said. “The economy is in the doldrums,” he said, adding that the Centre was misleading the public by claiming that the economy would grow by 11%. He added that unemployment in the country, which used to be just 2% to 3%, has now reached 9.2% in urban areas and 8.9% in rural ones.
Mr. Siddaramaiah attacked Mr. Modi on the continuing rise in prices of petrol and diesel and wondered why the Prime Minister was not addressing the difficulties faced by the public, who are being forced to spend a lot on fuel. “Should he not tell people in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ why petrol now costs ₹90 a litre?” he asked.
He recalled that petrol used to cost no more than ₹60 per litre and diesel less than ₹50 per litre, while LPG was available for between ₹350 and ₹400, when Dr. Singh was PM. “Why is it so high now when the price of crude oil has come down from $110 per barrel to just $45 to $46?” he asked.
On the farmers’ agitation in the national capital, Mr. Siddaramaiah said the “BJP goondas” were responsible for fomenting trouble at farmers’ demonstrations.