Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who held millennials using Ola and Ubar responsible for the worst ever slump in country’s auto industry, has drawn a flak from the Opposition Congress. The Grand Old Party termed the finance minister’s statement "a grave joke on the economy and the country" and said that it reflected the “inefficiency and immaturity” of the Narendra Modi government.
"This remarkable, unbelievable statement by the finance minister reflects the inefficiency, the immaturity and the inexperience, the three I's, as Shri Modi would say of the BJP in governance. The gross overstatement by the FM is a grave joke on the economy, on the country. Why? Because the dip in the GDP is the real new normal for this government," Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi told reporters.
Sitharaman was also rediculed on Twitter for her rather bizarre excuse that the ‘millennial mindset’ of preferring app-based cab hailing services caused the unprecedented downturn in the auto sector.
Speaking about the economic crisis, the finance minister, who was in Chennai, had Tuesday said: "The automobile and components industry has been affected by BS6 and the mindsets of millennial, who now prefer to have Ola and Uber rather than committing to buying an automobile."
The Congress leader also questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the poor state of the country’s economy and demanded him to seek an apology from Sitharaman for her remarks.
"I am sure that she will not do, what is deserved to be done. So, may I request Modi Ji to do it for us - expunge her remarks and seek an apology from her to the nation," the Congress leader said.
Singhvi also asked how would India be able to become a USD 5 trillion economy, a big promise made by PM Modi on several fronts, with the slowdown and wondered why steps were not taken in the recent General Budget to overcome the problem in the automobile sector.
Domestic passenger vehicle sales skidded for the 10th consecutive month, falling from 287,198 units in August last year to 196,524 units last month and registering a 31.57 per cent decline. Sales of commercial vehicles were down 38.71 per cent to 51,897 units in August, SIAM said.
Vehicle sales across categories registered a decline of 23.55 per cent to 1,821,490 units from 2,382,436 units in August 2018, it added. Also, motorcycle sales last month declined by 22.33 per cent to 9,37,486 units as compared to 12,07,005 units a year earlier. The total two-wheeler sales in August 2019 declined 22.24 per cent to 15,14,196 units compared to 19,47,304 units in the year-ago month.