Sitharaman 'clueless' in dealing with economic slowdown, steps to boost economy 'cosmetic': Cong
New Delhi: The Congress on Saturday alleged that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was "clueless" in dealing with the economic slowdown and termed the latest steps announced by her to boost the economy as "cosmetic" and "piecemeal".
The party's attack came after Sitharaman announced an over Rs 70,000-crore package for export and real estate sectors, including setting up of a stressed asset fund, as the government continued with firefighting measures to pull the economy out of a six-year low growth rate.
"I can only say that the finance minister is clueless as to how to deal with the gravity of the crisis," Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said at a press conference.
After the earlier announcements of stimulus package, the situation deteriorated and the latest steps are not going to help, Sharma asserted.
"The finance minister of India is lacking in macroeconomic understanding. A comprehensive package for economic revival was expected," he said.
"The steps announced today will not revive the Indian economy, they are purely cosmetic, piecemeal and also convey the arrogance of the government and its indifference to the seriousness of the situation," he said.
Sharma said what was required to revive the economy was infusion of capital and not merely "small interest subventions" which have been announced.
The government is unable to do so because it does not have money, the Congress leader claimed.
Like last year, this year also the situation of revenue shortfall appears to be more serious, he said.
Sharma also hit out at Sitharaman's earlier statement blaming millennials' preference for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Ola over owning cars, and not high taxes, for slumping vehicle sales.
He also took a swipe at Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal's apparent gaffe in explaining that achieving the target of nearly doubling the size of the economy to USD 5 trillion should not be looked through the prism of Maths.
Goyal had remarked that maths did not help Albert Einstein 'to discover gravity'. The slip up was not lost on netizens who quickly took to Twitter to point out that gravity was discovered by Isaac Newton and Einstein is credited for his theory of relativity.
"Not only insulting the question on numbers and mathematics, but (he is) confusing the country or himself rather on Einstein and Newton," Sharma said of Goyal's remarks.
The economy is not only contracting but the government is busy selling its "pipe-dream" of USD 5 trillion dollar -- 1 Trillion dollar of exports -- when in the first five months, the exports are 133 billion dollars.
"So, how that is going to be achieved, we don't know. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has given the numbers, we have given the number. The actual national income or the GDP has to grow by 9 per cent for five years," he said.
"So, this year is gone - now ministers may say numbers and mathematic do not mater but I think they do matter. And anybody having understanding of economic will know that," the Congress leader said.