The Congress on Thursday accused the NDA government at the Centre of mutilating the soul of India and trampling upon the country's economy, saying it can be measured today in terms of Global Misery Index (GMI) and not the GDP. Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari claimed that the GDP of India grew by one per cent or two per cent against an average of 8.2 per cent during 10 years of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) when "190 million people were lifted up from poverty".
"Today, if you were to measure the economy of India, the GDP would be a completely incorrect barometer. The correct metric to measure the economy of India today is the Global Misery Index. So, rather than the GDP, the more appropriate measure for the Indian economy is the GMI - the Global Misery Index which was conceptualised by an American economist applied to the American economy," Tewari said.
"It is important to recall that the hate that led to the murder of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi is the hate which rules this country today," he said.
The Congress leader accused the NDA government of "institutionalising social disharmony" in the country and its casualty has been the Indian economy as investment and disharmony in society do not go together.
"Money is a coward and the money goes to the safest house. Social disharmony and economic development cannot go hand-in-hand. The NDA-BJP government has been deliberately pursuing a policy of institutionalising social disharmony in this country and the logical causality of that is the Indian economy which has been pushed into a hole from where it may not emerge in the near future," he said.
Tewari said had Mahatma Gandhi been alive today, he would have been an extremely sad man.
"It would have been indeed very sad for him or for any of the founders of the great Indian Republic to witness. Mahatma Gandhi gave us independence. He also was firm believer in the socio-economy emancipation of the last man in the last row," he said.
"The sad part is that this government which is going to present the budget for 2020-21 on the 1st of February does not have a clue, a plan or a policy as to how it will really redeem the Indian economy from the hole it has been pushed that into," he said.
The Congress spokesperson said US economist Steve Hanke devised the global misery index, which indicates how miserable people are in a particular economy.
Tewari said when the score under Hanke's index crosses 10, political change starts manifesting itself.
"Governments in developed countries have actually changed when the score has actually crossed ten. Developing countries you have a little more patience invariably when it crosses 20 that is when you find discontent starting to manifest itself, resulting in regime change – the government change," he said.
"Currently as we speak the unemployment rate in India stands at 8.5 pc. The headline inflation rate is about 7.35 pc, the lending rates or the interest rates at which banks lend money is broadly at about 9.4 pc and if you subtract the annualized growth of GDP which is about 3.5 pc, you get a score of 21.5," he added.
"On the Misery Index, the NDA-BJP Government is squarely in the red zone and when you catalog this Index, India was the 20th most miserable country in 2016, it fell to 44th position in 2018 and today with the score of 21.5 it is again back among the first 20 most miserable countries and if you look at any economic parameter on which you can benchmark the Indian economy, you would find that it actually validates this score completely," the Congress leader said.
Tewari claimed that the GDP growth last year was the lowest in 11 years, private consumption was the lowest in seven years, investments was slowest in the last 17 years, manufacturing was at its lowest in 15 years and agriculture was the lowest in the last four years.
"So, every benchmark that you use actually validates the misery index," he added.