NEW DELHI - Mocking the government’s earlier claim of rise in GDP, the Congress said what the ruling dispensation had meant by that was increase in prices of gas, diesel and petrol (GDP), and added that it has now realised that the economy needs a “boost of Viagra”.
“They used to say our GDP will rise. The actual meaning of this is rise in prices of gas, diesel and petrol. That is the GDP. One litre of crude oil costs about Rs 21 and after refining it, which costs about Rs 9, ultimately it would cost about Rs 31. What costs the government or petroleum companies Rs 31 is sold at Rs 79 (rate in Mumbai). They make profit on every litre of Rs 48,” said senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal.
“Who bears this burden, the ordinary people - those who ride motor cycles, those who drive their cars and also the farmers, who use diesel. Profit goes to the government and burden falls on farmers,” he added.
“Instead of bringing down the burden on the common man they are increasing their burden and their minister says ‘Who buys petrol..somebody who has a car and certainly who is not starving.’ Look at the arrogance and attitude of the government,” Sibal said.
“Why don’t they tax the one percent people of India who own 58 per cent wealth of the country. During the UPA rule it was 30 per cent. The poor are becoming poorer and rich richer,” he said.Sibal said the government has realised that they need a boost of Viagra to do something about the economy.
“Now they want Rs 40,000-50,000 crore to inject into the economy. No nation can survive like this. This is how they will do it (by increasing prices of essentials). There is a shortfall of Rs 65,000 crore,” he added. “After three-and-half years, if this is the condition of the economy, where will this nation go? Good they have realised they need Viagra to give stimulus to the economy.”
Sibal said the only sector that is doing well is the multi-nationals which deal with digital platforms. “They are making a lot of money. There has never been a more inept way of handling the economy of this country than this government.”
He said the MSME sector is suffering, factories are closing, there is no employment. “Due to demonetisation they don’t have money to either purchase or sell their products.”“To do politics is one thing, but don’t play around with the lives of the people of India,” Sibal said.He said inflation was at an all-time high. “Unemployment is increasing. Consumer price index has increased by 17.92 per cent, which includes food items, beverages, housing, clothing, tobacco and footwear,” he added.