Cong campaign over job losses in ‘mismanaged’ COVID crisis

Rahul, Priyanka say faulty policies have ‘crushed future of the youth’ amid ‘rising privatization’

Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi visited Puducherry to kick off the Congress’ assembly election campaign amid a crisis facing the party in the Union Territory, where its government has lost the majority. | File photo: PTI

The Congress has projected job loss as the key element of its online campaign launched against the government over the handling of Covid-19 situation in the country. The party said on Thursday that unemployment rose rapidly due to the government’s mishandling of the pandemic.

Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were among many leaders who tweeted with hashtag #SpeakUpForJobs urging people to “speak for the country’s future.”

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“The policies of Modi Govt have caused the loss of crores of jobs and a historic fall in the GDP. It has crushed the future of India’s youth. Let’s make the govt listen to their voice,” Rahul tweeted.

India saw its economy contract by 23.9% in the June quarter — the sharpest decline in four decades. It was the worst performance among G20 nations as the Covid-19-induced lockdown led to a severe supply-and-demand trouble.

“Lakhs of Indians are losing jobs every day, whether it was in locked down India or unlocked India. All BJP does is silently watch on. The nation will not stay silent, the nation will #SpeakUpForJobs,” said the Congress in one of the tweets.

“Jobs are under stress amid rising privatization, a cut in government expenses and bad economic policies of the BJP government. The government has stopped hiring for existing vacancies. We will have to speak up for the future of this country,” Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted in Hindi.

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Investment bank and financial services company Goldman Sachs and credit rating agency Fitch Ratings on Tuesday predicted deeper-than-previously estimated economic recession for India in FY21, saying that limited fiscal support, fragilities in the financial system and a continued rise in coronavirus cases are hampering normalisation in economic activity.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs anticipates India’s gross domestic product (GDP) to shrink 14.8% this fiscal against its earlier estimate of an 11.8% contraction.

“The severe fall in activity has damaged household and corporate incomes and balance sheets, amid limited fiscal support. A looming deterioration in asset quality in the financial sector will hold back credit provision amid weak bank capital buffers. Furthermore, high inflation has added strains to the household income,” Fitch said.

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