This was pre-lockdown: Chidambaram slams BJP for low Q4 GDP growth

P Chidambaram said it was estimated that the GDP for Q4 will touch a new low at below 4 per cent, but has turned out to be worse at 3.1 per cent

P Chidambaram said the low GDP growth was a telling commentary on the economic management of the BJP government. File photo: PTI

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday (May 29) said the 3.1 per cent GDP growth in the January-March quarter of 2019-20 is a telling commentary on the economic management of the BJP government.

“We had forecast that GDP for Q4 will touch a new low at below 4 per cent. It has turned out to be worse at 3.1 per cent. It is a telling commentary on the economic management of the BJP government,” he tweeted.

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The former finance minister also pointed out that the fourth quarter (January-March 2020) was before a lockdown was enforced, suspending all economic activity. “Remember, this is pre-lockdown. Of the 91 days of Q4, lockdown applied to only 7 days,” he said.

India’s economic growth slowed to 3.1 per cent in January-March and to an 11-year low of 4.2 per cent for the full fiscal 2019-20 amid a drop in consumption and investment.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth stood at 5.7 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2018-19, according to the data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) on Friday.

During 2019-20, the Indian economy grew at 4.2 per cent as against 6.1 per cent in 2018-19. The economic growth was the lowest in 2008-09 when the economy had expanded at 3.1 per cent.

The government had imposed a lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19 from March 25, 2020, which resulted in a slump in economic growth. A slew of fiscal measures were announced later as part of an economic stimulus package worth 20 lakh crore to help revive the economy.

However, the stimulus package has received severe criticism, since it was believed to have an economic impact of merely 1 lakh crore, when the package itself was worth 20 times more.

(With inputs from agencies)

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