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What are PM, FM hiding: Cong on Union minister's 'recession' remarks


Published on: January 17, 2023 | Updated on: January 17, 2023

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh (PTI)

NEW DELHI: What are the prime minister and the finance minister hiding from the country, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh asked on Tuesday after Union minister Narayan Rane indicated that India may face an economic slowdown after June.

The minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) told reporters in Pune on Monday that if India faces an economic recession, it will happen only after June, but the Centre was making all efforts to avoid such a situation. He said developed countries were already facing an economic downturn.

"Narayan Rane, Union Cabinet Minister of MSMEs - that have been destroyed since 2014 - forecasts recession in India after 6 months. He said this in Pune to a G20 gathering. What are the PM (Narendra Modi) & FM (Nirmala Sitharaman) hiding from the country?" Ramesh asked on Twitter.

Rane's comments came after inaugurating the G20's 1st Infrastructure Working Group (IWG). India currently holds the presidency of the G20 grouping.

"As I am in the Cabinet, some information is available to us and whatever advice we get from PM Modiji (Prime Minister Narendra Modi), on that basis, we can say that there is an economic recession in big countries. It is a reality," he told reporters.

"To ensure India is not impacted or to stop (the economic slowdown), which is expected to come after June... Modiji and the Centre are making efforts to ensure the people of the country are not impacted by the slowdown," Rane said.

India is set to lose its fastest-growing major economy tag this year going by the 7 per cent GDP expansion projected by the Statistics Ministry in the fiscal year ending March, this is on the back of weakening demand at home and abroad. That growth rate will be second only to Saudi Arabia's expected 7.6 per cent growth.

While India's industrial activity reverted to expansionary territory with the November 2022 Index of Industrial Production (IIP) posting an annualized growth of 7.1 per cent vis-à-vis a contraction of 4.2 per cent in the previous month, global headwinds led to exports contracting by 12.2 per cent to USD 34.48 billion in December.