Moody’s rated Modi’s handling of economy a step above ‘junk’: Rahul Gandhi
Gandhi said that Moody’s has termed “a step above junk” the handling of the economy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Updated: Jun 02, 2020 17:49 IST
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday expressed concern over the downgrading of India’s sovereign credit rating by Moody’s Investors Service for the first time in more than two decades.
Gandhi said that Moody’s has termed “a step above junk” the handling of the economy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Moody’s has rated Modi’s handling of India’s economy a step above JUNK. Lack of support to the poor and the MSME sector means the worst is yet to come,” he tweeted.
Downgrading India’s rating by a notch to ‘Baa3’ from ‘Baa2’ assigned in November 2018, Moody’s on Monday estimated India’s GDP would shrink by 4% -- the first full fiscal contraction in more than four decades.
Addressing a virtual news conference, Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar questioned the Central government’s intention of helping farmers, saying Modi’s aim of doubling their income by 2022 will remain a “pipe dream” if they don’t get the promised minimum support price (MSP) for their produce.
He said a majority of farm produce is purchased in the open market at rates much lower than the MSP declared by the government.
“The government’s intention is doubtful. If it wants to help farmers, give them the due price for their produce,” he said.
Jakhar urged the prime minister to make MSP a “legally binding right” of farmers to ensure they get right and remunerative prices for their produce.
The government on Monday raised MSP of paddy by a marginal Rs 53 a quintal to Rs 1,868 a quintal for 2020-21, while the rates for oilseeds, pulses and cereals were hiked substantially.
Jakhar charged the government with “betraying” farmers for not coming out with the CACP (Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices) report on fixing MSPs of different crops.
Except for wheat and paddy, a majority of crops is sold at prices much below MSP as agencies do not buy them at government rates, he said.
“The farmers lose out in the bargain. The prime minister wants to revive the economy, but what has the farmer got in his Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package?” asked the Punjab Congress chief.
Instead of giving any cash benefits to farmers, he said the Centre advised them to take more credit.
“Farmers are already reeling under debt and are committing suicides,” Jakhar said, urging the prime minister to grant fiscal incentives to farmers and waive off their loans.
Jakhar said the exodus of migrant workers to their home states will further impact the country’s Coronavirus-hit economy.
The input cost of farmers has risen during the pandemic, as labour is not easily available because migrant workers have left for their homes, he added.