Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday took a swipe at the Centre for India's poor performance when it comes to economic growth and pandemic management in comparison to its South Asian peers. "How to completely destroy an economy and infect the maximum number of people really quickly," Rahul posted as he tweeted the image of a table showing the country wise GDP growth and COVID deaths per million in the current year.
India is among the worst economic performers in the pandemic-stricken year with a whopping 10.3 per cent decline in GDP growth rate. The data, attributed to IMF and Worldometer, shows Bangladesh leading the GDP table of South Asian economies at 3.8 per cent growth rate in 2020, followed by China at 1.9 per cent, Vietnam at 1.6 per cent. While Nepal has maintained status quo, even countries like Pakistan (-0.4 per cent), Indonesia (-1.5 per cent), Sri Lanka (-4.6 per cent), Afghanistan (-5 per cent), Malaysia (-6 per cent) and Thailand (-7.1 per cent) have fared better than India.
Further, the table also shows that India has the most number of deaths—at 83—for every million population among the countries on the list. Indonesia has 46 COVID deaths per million population, followed by Afghanistan at 38, Bangladesh (34), Pakistan (30) and Nepal (25).
The same list was tweeted earlier in the day by noted economist Kaushik Basu, who noted that "only a part" of India's current economic slowdown was caused by COVID. "Even a few years ago none could have imagined India’s economy being where it is. A part of this is caused by Covid, but only a part—see Table. Lessons: Don’t be in data denial. Mistakes happen—admit & take corrective action. Use the talent & expertise available in the country," he tweeted.
Even a few years ago none could have imagined India’s economy being where it is. A part of this is caused by Covid, but only a part—see Table. Lessons: Don’t be in data denial. Mistakes happen—admit & take corrective action. Use the talent & expertise available in the country. pic.twitter.com/5HbWgwufGW— Kaushik Basu (@kaushikcbasu) October 19, 2020
Criticisms are mounting against the Centre for its handling of the economy.
The IMF, in a recent report, said revisions to the forecast are particularly large for India, where Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted much more severely than expected in the second quarter. “As a result, the economy is projected to contract by 10.3 per cent in 2020, before rebounding by 8.8 per cent in 2021,” it said. In 2019, India’s growth rate was 4.2 per cent.