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Congress slams government, says recapitalisation move too little, too late

New Delhi, Oct 24 (IANS) The Congress on Tuesday termed as “too little, too late” the government’s move to recapitalise public sector banks with Rs 2.11 lakh crore and said that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s “shoddy” attempt to defend the government’s performance on the economy front had failed to impress either the people or the industry.

Reacting to the government’s announcements to boost infrastructure, growth and employment, Congress Communications Incharge Randeep Singh Surjewala said the decisions were a “visionless damp squib”.

“Shoddy attempt of a desperate Finance Minister to defend the decimation of economy has failed to impress either the Indian industry or common people…Time has come to travel from empty jumlas to meaningful governance,” Surjewala said.

He said the economic growth projected by the government was only on paper.

Referring to Jaitley’s assertion about macro-economic fundamentals of the economy being very strong, Surjewala said “mindless and unsound decisions like demonetisation and the poor implementation of GST has hurt the core fundamentals.”

“The fall of GDP in the last quarter of 2016-17 indicates that the country is moving towards a low trajectory. The devils called demonetisation and GST destroyed India’s economic growth,” he said.

Surjewala said that bank recapitalization has neither a roadmap nor a timeframe.

“The announcement to recapitalise public sector banks with Rs 2.11 lakh crore is too little too late for the hardships the economy has faced. Let the Government face a reality check and share a targeted framework of bank recapitalization rather than hyperbole and high sounding syllables,” he said.

The Congress leader said the non-performing assets of 39 banks were at an all time high of Rs 8.35 Lakh crore with the government “failing completely to renegotiate the loans, recover public money and address core fundamentals of fiscal discipline”.

“Borrowing money (Rs 1.35 lakh crore bonds + part of Rs 76,000 crore from the market) to recapitalise banks would obviously mean breaching the fiscal deficit target. This is a desperate move by a Finance Minister groping in the dark as demonetisation and GST failed to bring in the promised Rs 4/5 lakh crore,” he said.

Surjewala said the Minister had “no clue” how and when the bonds will be issued and when will the money reach the banks.

“The government has utterly failed to lay down a roadmap of targeted beneficiaries such as MSMEs and the stressed agrarian sector.”

Surjewala said the BJP-led government has already waived loans of wilful defaulters worth Rs 1,88,287 crores in the last three years.

“Is the government risking tax payer’s money for more such loan waivers without commitment to MSMe and agrarian sectors? This is even more worrisome as the MSME loan portfolio of public sector lenders, which grew by an impressive 25 per cent in April 2014, is down to almost nil in April 2016.”

Referring to Bharatmala, the ambitious road construction project approved by the cabinet on Tuesday, Surjewala said the slated investment of Rs 5.35 lakh crore is completely debt driven with people having to share the burden.

Post Source: Ians feed

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