Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused the Modi government of destroying the informal sector of the economy and trying to enslave it. He charged that the government wants to break this sector and called upon the entire country to unite and fight against this.
He cited demonetisation, "wrong" GST and the lockdown as three examples of government's attempt to destroy the informal sector, that provides 90 per cent jobs to people. "The BJP government has attacked the informal structure. There is an attempt to turn you into a slave," he charged.
"The BJP government has been attacking the informal sector over the past 6 years. I am giving you three massive examples right now- Demonetisation, wrong GST and Lockdown," he said in a new video series on the economy. "Don't think the lockdown was unplanned. Don't think it was done at the last minute. The aim of these three decisions was to destroy our informal sector," he alleged.
Gandhi said the informal sector, which comprises the poor, farmers and small traders, has a lot of money which the government cannot touch. "They want to break this sector and extort this money from them," he charged. "The effects of this attack on the informal sector will be seen soon. The results will be that India won't be able to produce jobs. Because the informal sector produces 90 percent of the jobs. Once the informal sector is destroyed India won't be able to produce jobs," he said.
"You are the ones who run this country. You take us forward and there is a conspiracy against you. You are being cheated and there is an attempt to turn you into slaves. We have to understand this attack and the entire country has to unite to fight against this," he also said in the 4-minute video "Let's talk economy". The former Congress president said in 2008, the world was hit by an economic storm and it affected the entire world, the US, Japan, China and everywhere.
He said in the US banks fell, corporations fell and companies shut down and banks also fell in Europe, but India was unaffected and the UPA government was in power at the time. Gandhi said he went to the prime minister and asked Manmohan Singh what is the reason why the entire world suffered an economic crisis but India remained unaffected.
"Manmohan Singh ji replied, Rahul if you want to understand India's economy, you will have to understand that India has two economic structures. One is the formal economy and the other is the informal economy. "You know the big companies which constitute the formal sector. The informal sector comprises farmers, labourers, MSMEs. Till the time India's informal sector is strong, no economic storm can touch India," he said.
Gandhi's comments come ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament where the Congress party wants to corner the government over the state of the economy, besides other issues including the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Chinese aggression at the border. The Congress has also accused the government of failing to handle the economy as well as the pandemic, alleging that the lockdown has failed to have the desired effect and has hit the poor and the marginalised the hardest.