On Tuesday, a senior leader of India’s main opposition party Congress Rahul Gandhi slammed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government over the state of the economy and said that a tsunami is coming for ordinary citizens.
"India should be preparing itself not just for corona virus but for the economic devastation that is coming. I am saying it again and again. Our people will be going through unimaginable pain in the next 6 months. I’ve been warning the government but they are fooling around, they are not clear about what they have to do,” Gandhi said.
An economic tsunami is underway. I have been telling the government to start preparing but neither are they doing anything nor are they listening: Shri @RahulGandhi while addressing the media. #SaveIndiaFromCOVID19 pic.twitter.com/NbsyB83gKE— Congress (@INCIndia) March 17, 2020
The sharp criticism from Rahul Gandhi, who stepped down as president of Congress last year, came against a backdrop of dwindling job opportunities for the 1.2 million young people who are entering the workforce every year.
Data compiled by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), a private firm, claimed that the unemployment rate rose to 7.78 percent in February, its highest since October 2019.
The unemployment situation may worsen further as global rating agencies predict a gloomy scenario for the economy. Moody's Investors Service on Tuesday lowered its growth forecast to 5.3 percent for 2020 against a backdrop of the coronavirus impact. Moody's in February had projected 5.4 percent real GDP growth for India.
India's national income growth slipped to a nearly seven-year low of 4.7 percent in October-December 2019 and the Reserve Bank of India on Monday said that it may take steps to support the economy in the coming days.
The Reserve Bank of India will also hold a US dollar- Rupee auction worth $2 billion on 23 March in a move to stabilise the currency.