Social disharmony, development can’t go hand-in-hand: Congress

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Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.

The Congress on Thursday said the government does not have a a plan or a policy to redeem the economy from the hole it has pushed it into and argued that social disharmony and development cannot go hand-in-hand.

“Social disharmony and economic development cannot go hand-in-hand. The NDA-BJP government has been deliberately pursuing a policy of institutionalising social disharmony... and the logical casualty of that is the Indian economy which has been pushed into a hole from where it may not emerge in the near future,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said.

At a press meet, he said the real measure of Indian economy now is not GDP but “global misery index” conceptualised by an American economist. “The correct metrics to measure the economy of India today is the global misery index ....the measure of this index is that it benchmarks an economy on four parameters — unemployment rate, inflation rate, lending rate and then you subtract all these rates or subtract annualised growth of GDP from the sum total of these three rates and that gives you a score which really defines how miserable people living in a particular geography are,” he said.

“The unemployment rate in India now stands at 8.5 per cent. The headline inflation rate is about 7.35 per cent, the lending rates or the interest rates at which banks lend money is broadly at about 9.4 per cent and if you subtract the annualised growth of GDP which is about 3.5 per cent, you get a score of 21.5. So, on the misery index, the government is squarely in the red zone. When you catalog this index, India was the 20th most miserable country in 2016, it fell to 44th position in 2018 and today... it is again back among the first 20 most miserable countries.”