Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma on Sunday asserted that the country was not facing economic slowdown but an "economic lethargy" and that recent measures undertaken by the Centre will infuse a new life in the economy.
Slamming the opposition for their attacks on the government over the state of the economy, he said they have no issues left to attack the government.
"This should not be called economic slowdown (aarthik mandi), but should be called lethargy in the economy (aarthik susti). This can be a new word. And, if I am to define this, it can be defined as an adverse impact of incidents taking place in the world for some period of time on a particular country," he told PTI in an interview here.
"Today the US and European countries are facing economic slowdown, and its indirect impact is on India. However, policies of promoting exports, reducing imports and increasing duties on certain imports will restrict imports. And at the same time, providing country-made items to people at reasonable rates in the market as per demand will help in infusing a new lease of life in the economy," he said.
Hitting out at the Opposition, he said: "I think the opposition is feeling sad and dejected, and does not have any issue to raise before the public. The Opposition does not have any agenda through which it can condemn the government. I think it is only indulging in unrestrained gossip.”
Pointing out recent measures taken by the Centre, Sharma said: “We have cured the disease by merger of banks and with RBI's decision to transfer Rs 1.76 lakh crore of its surplus reserves to the government. These moves will help in giving loans to new entrepreneurs and improve the overall scenario. In other words, susti mein chusti aa jaayegi (lethargy will pave way to agility)."
On August 26, the Reserve Bank of India approved the transfer of record Rs 1.76 lakh crore dividend and surplus reserves to the government.
Sharma blamed the UPA regime for the accumulation of NPAs, and accused it of giving loans to people without verifying their credentials. He said the target of $5 trillion economy as envisaged by the prime minister will be fulfilled and UP's contribution will be $1 trillion.
"There has been an investment of Rs 1.5 lakh crore in UP, which is the highest since Independence. The opposition is simply ignoring all these facts and trying to make a 'hauaa' (raise a false alarm) over this," he said.
On the assembly elections in Jharkhand, Haryana and Maharashtra, Sharma said, "In Maharashtra, the Congress and the NCP are unable get any candidate to contest polls, as people are swiftly moving towards the BJP. In Haryana, there is virtually no opposition. The BJP is in a comfortable position to sweep the state. As far as Jharkhand is concerned, the achievements of the BJP government are upsetting rival political parties."
Taking a jibe at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on his campaign against dengue, the UP Deputy Chief Minister said, "No matter, how much '10 minutes, 10 days' is done, the assembly elections in Delhi will see the BJP emerging victorious.
On allegations by Opposition that probe agencies were being misused by the Centre, Sharma said, "The allegations are absolutely baseless. If they have not done anything wrong, they why are they feeling afraid. The courts have given decisions against them, and their (courts') impartiality should not be questioned at all."
Sharma also said, "The abrogation of Article 370, law on triple talaq and Chandrayaan-2 are some of the promises, which have been fulfilled, and it has enhanced the credibility of the Modi government. The victory of ABVP on three seats in the Delhi University Students' Union polls is only a trailer".