The Congress has questioned the Narendra Modi-led BJP government on how it would fulfil its promise of making India a five-trillion-dollar economy amid an economic slowdown and a continued crisis in the auto sector.
Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Wednesday tweeted, “Modiji’s Twitter followers have crossed 50 million. Economy will cross 5 trillion (dollars), but how? Youths are not getting jobs, will you hold opposition responsible for this too. Uber, Ola have ruined everything (Uber, Ola ne sab kar diya bantadhar) (sic).”
His comments on taxi aggregators come a day after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday stated that the slowdown in the automobile sector was due to the change in the mindset of millennials, who now prefer taxi aggregators like Ola and UBER instead of committing money to EMIs for new cars.
“Whatever good has happened, has been done by us (Modinomics). Whatever bad has happened, has been done by others (Nirmalanomics). Then, why have people elected you? (Publiconomics), (sic)” Singhvi said in another tweet in Hindi.
Sitharaman on Tuesday said that the automobile industry did have its “good times” till two years ago while claiming that the crisis in the sector was because of millennials, who now prefer taxi aggregators like Ola and UBER instead of committing for monthly instalments to own a car.
“It was definitely a good upward trajectory for the automobile sector”, she told reporters.
The minister said the sector had been affected by several things, including movement towards BS-VI norms and registration-related matters and (also) change in mindsets.
She said some studies had revealed that there was a change in the mindset of the millennials not to commit any EMIs (equated monthly instalments) towards buying an automobile and instead taking Ola, UBER or the Metro (train) services.
The Bharat Stage VI (or BS-VI) emission norm will come into force from 1 April 2020 across the country. Currently, vehicles conform to BS-IV emission standards.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi had on Tuesday lashed out at the Government over the economic slowdown and a continued depression in the Indian automobile industry.
“The economy is falling into a deep abyss of recession. A sword is hanging on the livelihood of millions of Indians. The decline in the auto sector is a sign of negative growth in production-transportation and the declining confidence of the market. When will the government open its eyes?” she asked in a tweet in Hindi.
Her remarks come as the auto industry suffered its worst-ever monthly sales performance in August. The sales decline has dented production, causing job losses.
Earlier, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka had taken a dig at the economic performance of the Modi government after its completion of 100 days in office.
On August 23, in a bid to address the slowdown in the auto sector, Sitharaman had announced lifting the ban on purchase of vehicles by government departments and allowed an additional 15 per cent depreciation on vehicles acquired from now till March 2020.
Also, the government clarified that BS-IV vehicles purchased up to March 2020 would remain operational for the entire period of registration, while also considering various measures, including scrappage policy to boost demand.