New Delhi, Nov 16 : A day after the Narendra Modi government decided to scrap the National Statistical Offices's (NSO) Consumer Expenditure Survey 2017-18 due to 'data quality issues', the Congress on Saturday hit out at the government and said the move was 'shocking'.
Talking to media persons after the meeting of Congress general secretaries, PCC presidents and other office bearers, AICC general secretary in-charge of organisation KC Venugopal and party's communication in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala alleged that the Modi government is leading the country into a starvation like situation.
"The government's decision over NSO survey report is shocking. There is a perception among the people that this government is leading this country into a starvation like situation, because of the bad policies", said Mr Venugopal.
On Friday, the government had said that it not going to release the NSO report, which was reportedly saying that consumer spending in rural areas has plunged for the first time in four decades. "In view of the data quality issues, the Ministry has decided not to release the Consumer Expenditure Survey results of 2017-2018. The Ministry is separately examining the feasibility of conducting the next Consumer Expenditure Survey in 2020-2021 and 2021-22 after incorporating all data quality refinements in the survey process," said the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation in a statement.
"The latest data of NSO is not data alone. According to it , consumption has gone down in this proportion for the first time in 40 years. The data reflects consumption has gone down by 8.8 per cent in rural areas and urban areas in the country. What is most alarming aspect there of is that both in rural and urban areas consumption of food items and essential nutritional items has gone down many folds", said Mr Surjewala. He said that data reflects onset of unprecedented poverty among the poor and common people both in urban and rural areas.
"What is the response of a power drunk Modi government? hide the data. Can you cover up the onset of poverty by hiding data Mr Modi? you should have come forward to release the data and told the nation that these are the steps we propose to take. But the government only seeks to hide employment data, farmers suicide data, poverty data, slowdown data, consumption data and export and import slowdown data", stated Mr Surjewala and added that hiding data is not a solution.
"Finding a solution is the way forward. But the government refuses to do so", he added. Responding to question about Union Minister Suresh Angadi's statement that country's economy is 'doing fine' because "airports and trains are full and people are getting married", Mr Surjewala said,'it is reflecting the arrogance of the Ministers of Mr Modi.'
"The arrogance of the Ministers of Modi is reflected in the statements of Suresh Angadi and many other Ministers. Mr Modi's Ministers advise people in Delhi and NCR to eat carrot to stop pollution. They are advising that there is no slowdown of economy, because people are getting married. Another Minister earlier advised the country that there is no slowdown, because films are doing well. All this reflects the arrogance of government", he said.
Earlier in the day, Mr Surjewala also tweeted that such 'bizarre' statements by Ministers seems to divert the attention from the real issues, which the country is facing. (UNI)