When BJP first came to power, hopes were built that this government would put India on a path that would see double-digit growth rates. In the first quarter of Financial Year 2019-2020, a full five years after Modi took charge, India’s GDP growth came down to 5%. Few expect India to grow faster than 6% this year but the double-digit growth now seems like a far-fetched dream.
The government is showing no signs of introspection despite failing to produce numbers on the country’s economic growth. When questioned about India’s fall in the global competitiveness ranking, Piyush Goyal, the minister of commerce and industry commented that India’s ranking in the global competitiveness index has fallen by 10 ranks due to faster improvements of several countries earlier ranked close to India.
The countries that were ranked immediately below India last year have improved their scores. But this is worrisome that India’s individual score itself has been falling.
West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra rightly attacked the Centre for lowest gross domestic product growth in the past five years. Amit Mitra targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government for “failing to maintain steady growth in India”.
He said that a deep recession has knocked at the doors of the Indian populace. The GDP growth is lowest in past five years. This means that the common man is under tremendous pressure. Unemployment is highest in the past 45 years. There are no job opportunities in the country, especially for the young generation. Industrial growth is a mere 2% as compared to 7% in last year. Apart from that, businessmen are becoming NRIs because the fear is forcing them to leave India and shift the base. They are under stress and threat.
Apart from slowing economic growth, India also slipped six spots on World Talent ranking and now ranks 59th on the IMD index which rated 63 economies on the basis of their attractiveness to develop, attract, and retain highly-skilled professionals. Just ahead of a handful of countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, and Mongolia, India’s low ranking is a result of various factors such as pollution, low quality of life, low priority of economy to attract and retain talent and low total public expenditure on education per student.
After the elections, the government utilized all of its propaganda channels to tell Indians that it was planning to turn the country into a $5 trillion economy by 2024. Modi’s ministers still insist that there is no slowdown and that everything is fine. One minister dismissed questions about the growth rates required to reach the $5 trillion target saying “mathematics had never helped Einstein discover gravity”. Another insisted that the box-office success of three movies was solid proof that there is no slowdown in the first place.
There is a limit to which a government can hide its incompetence and the days for BJP government are numbered because people have started realizing that the GDP growth promises were empty promises to gain power and advance the Hindutva agenda.