29 September 2019
Panaji: Congress national spokesperson Gourav Vallabh on Saturday claimed that India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was not five percent as was articulated by the NDA government, but 0 per cent or even negative.
Speaking at a seminar in the state capital, Vallabh, who is a finance professional, said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Abki baar Trump Sarkar' call during his recent visit to the US could put the Indo-US diplomatic relationship at risk.
"Our GDP is not 5 per cent it is 0 per cent. I will prove here. GDP is 0 per cent or maybe negative because in GDP calculation, only the formal economy is taken into account. Informal economy as per SBI is dipping down by 7 per cent per year and in our country more or less (there is) 50 per cent is formal and 50 per cent is informal (economy)," Vallabh said.
Commenting on the Prime Minister's recent 'Howdy Modi' US tour, Vallabh said the visit was "hyped", full of gaffes and a failure.
"Have you ever seen an Indian PM go to US and say 'Abki baar Trump ki sarkar?' What if Trump loses the election as there is a 50-50 chance, what is going to happen to Indo-US relationship?" Vallabh said.
The Congress leader also said that the Prime Minister, during his visit had failed to arrest the slide of visa rejections of Indian nationals, especially those working in the Information Technology sector.
"Why can't he (Modi) ask why rejection of visa for our people has increased by four to five times. The service industry is feeling the heat of this rejection. Our IT companies are feeling the heat," Vallabh said, claiming that Modi had also failed to back the supply of Indian produce like apples and basmati rice in US markets.
"'Howdy' is good, but why can't he do howdy with the people of our country. Why can't he ask President Trump. He says they are very close, they are buddies, then why can't he ask trump why he excluded India from the GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) list?
"Our goods are not going to become competitive, because a lot of countries are on that list, so the price of their goods is going to be less," Vallabh said, adding that in 2019, India's exports to the US were less than in 2014.