The Congress launched a scathing attack on the government, highlighting reports of people queuing up in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana for jobs in Israel. Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge raised concerns about the grim unemployment situation in the country, dismissing claims of a booming economy as a mockery. Kharge pointed out that under the Modi government, the growth rate of real rural wages has turned negative, contributing to widespread rural distress.
Kharge cited statistics, noting that daily wages in rural India for men in 2022-23 were Rs 212, lower than Rs 220 in 2014. He also mentioned the increasing demand for work under 'MGNREGA.' According to Kharge, the government, despite initially cutting funds in the Budget 2023-24, had to allocate an additional Rs 28,000 crore due to high rural joblessness.
The Congress leader expressed concerns about the decline in formal job creation, emphasizing a 30-month low, indicating a lack of jobs for educated youth. He highlighted a shortfall in funds disbursed to Panchayats compared to the promises made in the 14th Finance Commission.
Kharge touched upon economic indicators such as the lack of increase in sales of fast-moving consumer goods in 2023 and the lowest growth in private consumption expenditure in 21 years. He also raised the issue of widening economic inequalities, as individual tax collection increased significantly compared to a minimal increase in corporate tax collection.
Additionally, Kharge pointed out the 60% increase in vegetable prices in the last year, putting a heavy burden on the people. He concluded by questioning whether the Modi government would take responsibility for the miseries inflicted on the people as the final budget approaches.
Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh echoed Kharge's concerns, emphasizing the thousands of young men queuing up for jobs in war-torn Israel. Ramesh questioned the government's claims of a booming job-creating economy, citing the grim unemployment situation in the country.
(With Agency Inputs)