Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday that a lot of work was needed to bring the country’s economy – crippled by Narendra Modi’s regime at the Center – back to life, whether the rupee was strong or weak.
Responding to questions while interacting with the media during his ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra in Adoni, he said BJP policies had completely destroyed the strength of Indian economy and it was not just a question dollar prices.
“The idea of a strong or weak rupee, whether it’s good or bad…it’s actually more nuanced than that. It doesn’t really work that way. But it’s the question of how you look and think about the Indian economy,” Gandhi remarked.
A strong rupee has advantages and disadvantages. Both must be taken into account, he said.
The MP for Wayanad noted that job creation in the Indian economy has always happened through small and medium enterprises and a strong agricultural sector.
“Demonetization and the GST have destroyed both of these systems. Thousands of small entrepreneurs have gone bankrupt. India’s ability to create jobs has been crippled,” he said.
At the same time, there was a massive transfer of wealth from the poor and middle classes to a handful of “really rich business people”.
“The third richest man in the world is the close associate and friend of our Prime Minister. Everyone understands exactly how he became the third richest man,” he said, indirectly referring to the businessman Gautam Adani.
“What people don’t clearly understand is these transfers of money from the farmers, the small entrepreneurs, the middle class into the hands of these very rich people. The rich have access to the banking system but the farmers or the small entrepreneurs don’t have access to it. Wealthy businessmen can have unlimited debt,” Rahul said, adding that this phenomenon has crippled the entire economy.
Recalling his yatra in Ballari in neighboring Karnataka, the Congress leader said it was known as the “jeans capital of India”.
“It’s a huge asset for India. If we open the doors of the banks to the jeans industry in Ballari, we will have many entrepreneurs who will give thousands and thousands of jobs,” he said. declared.
The MP added that the focus needs to shift from two or three big businessmen to people who actually create jobs. “That’s basically the problem,” he observed.
Speaking of the Goods and Services Tax, Congress – if elected to office – would introduce a new GST which would be “just a tax”, he said.
“We can give India a GST that really makes people’s lives easier. We will do that after discussing with stakeholders,” he pledged.
He said Congress was opposed to the basic design of the (existing) GST which the BJP “imposed” without any conversation with the states.
“They have imposed five different levels of GST. This does not exist anywhere else in the world except India. We will bring GST which is a simple tax,” he said.