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Ex-Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi Targets Modi Govt Policies For 'Biggest' Recession in 40 Years

New Delhi (Sputnik): India's federal bank, the Reserve Bank of India, has released its annual report which forecasts that the post lockdown economic recovery will take time and confirms that the poor have been hit the hardest by the shutdown. The Congress Party sees the report as an endorsement of its warnings about an upcoming economic crisis.

Former opposition Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday launched a scathing attack on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government for its policies that have "destroyed" the informal economy of the country, making it suffer its biggest recession in the last 40 years.

​In his first video on the government's handling of economy, the former Congress chief said that policies such as the demonetisation (of INR 500 and 1000 paper currency), the Goods and Services Tax (indirect tax regime) and the coronavirus lockdown are responsible for derailing the informal sector that employs nearly 90 percent of the total workforce in the country.

Referring to the 2008 global recession, Rahul said, "In 2008, there was an economic slowdown. While the American and European banks were shut, India wasn’t affected... mentioning the reason for this, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (also a noted economist) had told me that as long as the informal one remains firm, no economic disaster can touch India.” He emphasised that this informal sector is now in dire straits.

The video comes as the federal government on Monday is set to release the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures for the April – June period of the year, which coincided with the nationwide lockdown.

Previously, responding to the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) annual report on economy, published on 25 August, the former party leader said that the federal bank has confirmed warnings he himself had been making for months.

"The government needs to: Spend more, not lend more. Give money to the poor, not tax cuts to industrialists," he had said.

​Meanwhile, the International Labour Organisation and the Asian Development Bank have stated in their report that nearly 4.1 million young people have lost jobs due to COVID-19, mostly in the farming and construction sectors.


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