New Delhi, Sep 14, 2019: The Congress on Saturday said that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was "clueless" in dealing with the economic slowdown, terming the latest steps announced by her to arrest the economic slowdown "cosmetic", NDTV reported.
The Congress’s attack came after Ms Sitharaman announced measures to boost exports and the real estate sector, including setting up of a stressed asset fund, as the government continued with firefighting measures to pull the economy out of a six-year low growth rate.
"I can only say that the finance minister is clueless as to how to deal with the gravity of the crisis," Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said at a press conference.
After the earlier announcements of stimulus package, the situation deteriorated and the latest steps are not going to help, Mr Sharma said.
"The finance minister of India is lacking in macroeconomic understanding. A comprehensive package for economic revival was expected," he said.
"The steps announced today will not revive the Indian economy, they are purely cosmetic, piecemeal and also convey the arrogance of the government and its indifference to the seriousness of the situation," he said.
At a news briefing on Saturday, for the third week in a row, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced measures the government is taking to aid the country’s slowing economy.
India’s growth rate has slipped to 5 per cent in the June quarter, government data showed last month. Several sectors from the auto manufacturing to even consumer goods have raised concerns of flagging sales.
Forecasting the move could lead to banks providing up to an extra Rs. 68,000 crore of export credit, Ms Sitharaman said that the government will relax rules for lending to priority sectors
The finance minister also detailed other steps, including improved insurance cover to banks that lend to exporters and the digitalization of certain services that she said would further bolster exports.
For the country’s stressed housing sector, she announced that the government will provide Rs. 10,000 crore of funds to boost affordable and middle income homes.