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INDIA bloc govt will herald stable, predictable policymaking: Cong

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Strap: Stock market volatility


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NEW DELHI, May 19: Amid stock market volatility, the Congress on Sunday accused Home Minister Amit Shah of inciting “fear-mongering” and said an INDIA coalition government shall herald a new age of stable, predictable policymaking and overall prosperity.

The opposition party’s assertion came after Home Minister Shah in an interview with a TV channel said the stock market shouldn’t be linked with elections, but a stable government does help it perform better.

He also suggested that the market will shoot up after June 4 as a result of the BJP and its allies sweeping the Lok Sabha elections.

In a statement, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said there is no basis to the “fear-mongering, incited by the outgoing Home Minister, about the INDIA government in financial markets”.

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The record of the Congress party in providing strong and inclusive economic growth speaks for itself, he said.

“It is a matter of record that economic growth and investment were much higher under Dr Manmohan Singh than under the Modi government. Private investment and the share of manufacturing as a percentage were much greater under Dr Singh than in the past decade,” he said.

Ramesh said that “self-inflicted policy blunders” such as demonetisation, GST and an ill-planned lockdown played an important role in growth being lower in the last decade.

But equally important is the atmosphere of fear and uncertainty created by the Modi government that has led to the biggest exodus of wealth creators from India to locations such as Dubai, London and Singapore, he claimed.

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In this context, the most important contribution of the INDIA government will be to “remove the current environment of distrust and fear, and create a healthy ecosystem where private enterprises, regulatory authorities, tax authorities and government will work in a spirit of mutual cooperation and respect, as we wrote in our Nyay Patra manifesto”, he said.

“We also stated that ‘regulatory oversight will be based on clearly enunciated laws and rules that will be applied fairly and without discrimination’,” the Congress general secretary in-charge communications said.

This is a complete contrast with the Modi government’s “vindictive and arbitrary approach whose main goal has been to extort funds, suppress competition against a favoured few and eliminate all freedom in decision-making”, Ramesh said.

These anti-competitive policies have contributed to underinvestment, concentration of economic power and unsustainable K-shaped growth, he claimed.

“Our manifesto also promises to implement a clear, transparent and predictable tax regime. We will replace the current GST with a GST 2.0 that will be a single, moderate rate (with a few exceptions). We will enact a Direct Taxes Code and maintain stable personal income tax rates throughout the next five years,” Ramesh said.

“We will eliminate ‘Angel tax’ and all other exploitative tax schemes that inhibit investment in new micro, small companies and innovative start-ups,” he said.

Ramesh further said that the Congress has made important announcements in its manifesto to deal with the Modi government’s poor record on price rise, jobs and stagnant wages and its “utter failure” on the demand side of the economy.

“We will implement all of these within established principles of fiscal responsibility. We remind market participants that Dr Singh’s government ended its tenure with a fiscal deficit of 4.5% of GDP (2013-14), much below the 5.8% fiscal deficit in the Modi government’s final year (2023-24),” he said.

Sharing a screenshot of his statement, Ramesh said on X that there is no need for the “fear-mongering” that the Home Minister is inciting.

“The INDIA coalition is coming to power, and it shall herald a new age of stable, predictable policymaking and overall prosperity,” he said.

Tagging Ramesh’s statement and post on X, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said, “Hear hear. As a member of the @incIndia Manifesto Committee I am proud to confirm our party’s commitment to economic growth with social justice, an end to tax terrorism that is driving wealth creators away from India, and a commitment to predictable and transparent economic and fiscal policies.” (PTI)






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