Tharoor's worry: Govt may use RBI funds on ads to show no economic slowdown

Shashi Tharoor

Taking a swipe at the BJP government over the economic slowdown, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday said his biggest worry was that it might spend on advertising the Rs 1.76 trillion taken from the RBI to claim there was no slowdown in the country.

Participating in an interactive session with Delhi University students organised by his party's student wing NSUI, he claimed that the government "specialised" only in sloganeering.

"My biggest worry about the economic slowdown is that the government may spend the Rs 1.76 trillion they have taken from the RBI on advertisements and messages to tell you there is no slowdown," Tharoor said.

Last month, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) agreed to transfer Rs 1.76 trillion to the government this fiscal. It includes Rs 1.23 trillion of surplus for 2018-19 and Rs 52,637 crore of excess provisions identified as per the revised economic capital framework adopted at the bank's board meeting.

Tharoor said that the slowdown is real as there is no positive story from any sector of the economy.

"This government specialises only in sloganeering. Make in India, Digital India, Start up India, Stand up India, Sit down India, Shut up India," he said in a dig at the Modi government's flagship schemes to spur growth and jobs.

Tharoor faced a number of questions from students on issues ranging from economic slowdown, situation in Kashmir, women reservation bill, National Register of Citizens, and quality of research work in the country.

"We have to speak up. The economy is ours, its your future. You will grow up and graduate in an economy that may not have any jobs," he told the students.

Slamming the Centre's move of revoking Jammu and Kashmir's special status and imposing restrictions, Tharoor said it was a travesty of Indian democracy.

"You (Centre) have completely subverted the spirit of the Constitution. You have gone ahead and changed the status of a state without consulting its elected legislature which you have suspended," he said.

He also attacked the clampdown in Kashmir saying it was a "complete abuse" of democratic procedures and systems of the country besides going against human rights.

Tharoor expressed his party's full support to women's reservation in Parliament and the state legislatures.

A manifesto of the National Students Union of India(NSUI) for Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) polls was released by him on the occasion.

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