Rajya Sabha on Thursday held a short duration discussion on the state of economy, investment climate and job creation in the country and the need to address the challenge of rising unemployment. The issue of economy was raised by the Congress party aggressively during just concluded polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
Defending the government decision of demonetisation and the GST, Union finance minister said it will benefit the economy in long run and make it even more robust.
Holding short discussion on the state of economy in the post-lunch proceedings, the opposition members raised number of issues including investment in both public and private sector, rising unemployment, and impact of the GST on small traders.
In last three years, India’s economy has been among the fastest growing at the global level, Arun Jaitley told the house reply to the discussion. He also added that the government is getting good signals on the investment climate and we have taken several initiatives on those lines.
On the opposition’s contention regarding the shape of banking sector, Jaitley said slew of measure are in place to help the banks and bulk of NPAs, which are today adversely impacting the banks, are legacy of the previous Congress-ruled UPA government.
Starting the debate Congress deputy leader Anand Sharma said small traders are facing problems and the results of next quarter will reflect the bigger picture. The tax collection is not rising; even the GST tax collection came down as per the latest figures.
Other opposition leaders too questioned the government’s economic policies, saying it is relying more on the surveys like Pew and Moody’s and not paying heed to the sectors like agriculture and difficulty faced by the farmers.
Bhubaneswar Kalita, Bhupendra Yadav, Praful Patel, Shadi Lal Batra, Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, Shanta Chhetri, Ahamed Hassan, Derek O’Brien, Jairam Ramesh and Dilip Kumar Tirkey were among the members who took part in the discussion.
The government, on the other hand, defended its economic policies, citing the results of recently held polls where the BJP swept Himachal, while retained Gujarat, Prime Minister Modi’s home state, for the sixth time.