June 1, 2021

Rahul Gandhi attacks PM on GDP, unemployment

New Delhi, Jun 1 Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the adverse GDP and unemployment figures and raised the issue of "shortage" of drugs for treating black fungus.



"PM's hall of shame - Minimum GDP, Maximum Unemployment," he said on Twitter and shared a graph showing a rise in unemployment among the youth since 2014.

His remarks came a day after data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) showed that India's economy contracted by 7.3 percent in the fiscal year ended March 2021 after the growth rate picked up in the fourth quarter, just before the world's worst outbreak of coronavirus infections hit the country.

The gross domestic product (GDP) in Asia's third-largest economy grew by 1.6 percent in the January-March period, up from 0.5 percent in the previous quarter when India began pulling out of a steep pandemic-induced recession in the earlier six months.

Gandhi also posed questions to the central government on mucormycosis or "black fungus epidemic".

"What is being done about the shortage of drug Amphotericin B? What is the procedure for helping the patient get this medicine," he said on Twitter.

"Instead of providing treatment, why is the Modi government embroiling the public in formalities," he also asked, but did not elaborate.

After thousands of cases of black fungus were reported among COVID-19 patients in the country, the Centre on May 20 urged all states and union territories to declare it as a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act to ensure mandatory surveillance to tackle the "new challenge".

The government had said that the shortage of Amphotericin B shortage will be resolved soon as five more pharma companies have got new drug approval for producing it in India, in addition to the existing six pharma companies.

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