Congress, the opposition party, has demanded for a gross economic mismanagement index to be instituted. This comes in the wake of a report that the annual income of the poorest 20% of Indian households has fallen 53% in 2020-21 from their levels in 2015-16.
Congress says the central government must accept the huge income disparity in the country. “The entire country bore the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the poor and the middle class are victims of the Modi government’s economic epidemic,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted. “The credit for widening the chasm between the rich and the poor goes to the central government.”
Supriya Srinate, Congress spokesperson, told a press conference that the Oxfam report and PRICE’s ICE360 Survey 2021 show the deep fissures between the rich and the poor in the country were rapidly widening. “Broadly speaking, 60% of India today is earning less than what it was earning five years ago. And survey after another is showing this. So there must be some truth in how the income divide is widening,” she said. “The 20% for whom the income has halved under the Modi government had seen their incomes surge by 183% under the UPA between 2004 and 2014. We had lifted 27% of people out of poverty. And whose income is going up now. The richest 20% are richer by 39%. Their incomes have gone up 39%.”
The opposition believes there is some “deep trouble in the economy” and alleged that the government was focusing only on the rich and the well-heeled, and their incomes. Srinate said the government should institute a gross economic mismanagement index so that one gets to know how badly mismanaged the Indian economy is. She said the government should answer why unemployment was rising, who the price rise was affecting the most and why corporate taxes were being cut even as the GST had been increased.
In regards to the upcoming Budget, the Congress spokesperson said the government must only focus on bridging the divide between the rich and the poor, increase money in the hands of the poor, and pay attention to how urban poverty is going up manifold. She also highlighted that rural poverty has worsened.