NEW DELHI: Ahead of the winter session of Parliament, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has asked the finance ministry to prepare a report card on the state of economy, on various economic parameters and main areas of concern.
“The finance ministry officials have been asked to prepare a detailed report card on key economic issues and problems, on various parameters, with facts and numbers, along with the important steps taken by the government. The report has to be submitted by November 12,” a senior finance ministry official told TNIE.
The winter session will be held from November 18 to December 13. Meanwhile, Opposition parties are drumming up support to pull up the government over the economic issues, including the general slowdown, crisis in auto and telecom sectors, divestment of BSNL and MTNL, and PMC Bank scenario.
The falling industrial production has been a matter of concern. According to latest data, industrial production contracted by 1.1 per cent in August recording the worst performance in last seven years. Even the output of eight core industries in September contracted by 5.2 per cent, mainly on account of drop in output of electricity, crude oil, coal, natural gas and cement.
The auto and telecom sectors have been facing a slowdown for over a year now; the financial health of BSNL and MTNL especially, is poor. The PMC Bank crisis is far from being resolved, much to the government’s chagrin.
Sensing a political opportunity, the Opposition parties, including Congress, the Left Front constituents, TMC, RJD, RLSP, among others, met recently, whereupon they agreed to protest on these issues during the winter session. They are slated to hold a joint protest in Delhi around December 1. In this context, the government wants all its facts and numbers updated, so that it can be better prepared to face questions.
During the winter session, apart from several important Bills, the government is planning to table two Ordinances in the Parliament, which were cleared by the Union Cabinet: one, reducing corporate tax rates for new and domestic manufacturing companies; and two, ban of sale, manufacture and storage of e-cigarettes.