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India’s Rs 88 lakh crore debt burden worrisome, govt in delusion: Congress

India had a “worrisome” debt burden of over Rs 88 lakh crore at the end of year’s first financial quarter with the government apparently having no idea how to deal with the country’s economic slowdown, the Congress said on Saturday.

Addressing a press conference, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate also said the debt has risen by four per cent compared to the last quarter.

“India’s debt stands at Rs 88.18 lakh crore at the end of June 2019, according to the latest data on public debt. This is a four per cent jump from the previous quarter i.e. a rise in debt by Rs 3.5-4 lakh crore. It is worrisome,” Shrinate said at the party office here.

“There seems to be no plan with the government to deal with the economic slowdown,” she said, adding there was no proper communication between the government and the country’s central bank- Reserve Bank of India.

“The government may have reduced corporate taxes but that does not encourage corporates to invest more as there is no money in the market.

Criticising the government for its demonetisation move, she said it led to cash crunch but the government chose to give money to corporates, thinking they would invest.

“But when there is no demand, who will invest? Corporates will rather adjust their balance sheets,” she said.

“This government is bewildered. Finance Minister says one thing, the RBI says something else. There seems to be no proper communication between them. The debt figure shows the fiscal discipline is not being adhered to,” she said.

The Ministry of Finance had on Friday said the government’s total liabilities increased to Rs 88.18-lakh crore at the end of June quarter, up from Rs 84.6-lakh crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

“The government’s public debt accounted for 89.4 per cent of the total outstanding liabilities at end-June 2019,” a statement from the Department of Economic Affairs’ Public Debt Management Cell had said.

Addressing the media, Shrinate said the government appeared to be “living in delusion”.

“Debt has increased, there are no jobs, the price of petrol and diesel is escalating. Is the govt not worried about economy at all? It is like this government is in some kind of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ scenario,” she said, adding that looking at the condition of the economy, buying houses and cars in future will become tougher.


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