Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi said out of the two issues which he wanted to raise today, definitely one issue is that of employment because it is the employment which concerns the Nation more than anything else even within the economic sector the single most important sub-sector is employment generation. Now, note Manufacturing and IT have shown positive increase but the figures published for the last 1quarter i.e. third quarter of 2016-17 which is Oct-Dec. shows three very interesting things and these are published figures, these are all Government figures, these are not argumentative, it is the figure published and the correct figurers always happen after a lag of three months. i.e. the previous quarter is truly reflected after three months more have passed in the next quarter. It does not happen in the same quarter. On that the average of 8 key sector which are Manufacturing, Construction, Trade, Transport, Education, Health, Accommodation, Restaurant and IT – these are the core sectors which are the engines of the economy. These 8 sectors have shown exactly half the growth as per the previous quarter namely 32,000 as new jobs created as against 77,000 created in the quarter which is Q2 since I am talking of Q3. Within these sector barring Manufacturing and IT, several sectors have suffered a steep decline and particularly badly hit are four of them Construction, Trade, Hotel Restaurant and Education sectors with an absolute decline of 18,000 jobs. In other interesting and distressing figure is direct absolute figure declined – the sharpest decline – in female employment in this quarter of Oct-Dec where 25,000 jobs in one quarter which is quite a lot, have been lost as far as female employment category is concerned. If you take total overall employment figures, it is even more distressing in the comparative previous quarter, addition of jobs is 1.69 lakh i.e. almost 1.70 lakhs which of course is way below Mr. Modi’s promises but this time it is the same quarter same period 69,000 that is less than 1/3rd or about 1/3rd. Along with this, comes rather other indicator and these are indicators which we have said again and again will pan out and be known only as time passes but you are getting clear glimpses which are indications, which are signals, which are directives to which way the wind is blowing, not only demonetization but the general mismanagement of the economy. The third figure which shows this is the connected clear increase in CAD i.e. Current Account Deficit despite all the claims of deficit management to 7.9 Billion Dollars almost 8 Billion US Dollars against just over 7.1 Billion US Dollars. So that is almost a Billion Dollar increase and connected to that in marginal decrease in Net FDI to 9.8 Billion Dollars down from the previous figures. Overall, this is God forbid showing a trend of contraction and let us hope that Mr. Modi’s’Jumlas’ and claims and the BJP’s self congratulatory, self-patting on the back succeeds, otherwise the Indian economy will be prejudiced and hurt irreversibly.
On the question of organizational changes since Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Shri Rahul Gandhi are back, Abhishek Manu Singhvi said both of them are back and we hope and trust that as far as Smt. Sonia Gandhi is concerned, she is hale and hearty and Yes they are back in India. He further said I think you should be fair enough to give us all a chance to breathe especially those who have returned yesterday. That is definitely on the card but you do not have to put timer switch to it like a race timer, they have come back.
On the question of the replacement of Kerala PCC President since two weeks have gone by of his resignation, Abhishek Singhvi said I do not think that two weeks is such an alarming period of time that you are making it sound. But I can assure you that we had a very active Kerala PCC for all these years and you will have no less an active Kerala PCC soon. Just give it a reasonable time.
On the question of Shiv Sena MP’s behavior, Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, I think nobody in public life, forget Member of Parliament, forget anybody else, nobody in Public life can even remotely do anything but to denigrate and castigate such behaviour. We hope and trust three things – one the Law takes its clear unequivocal and prompt course that is a legal part. Secondly, the Party takes a quick decision as we are told it is considering. And thirdly, that there is and I think it is most important in a sense that there is an inner realization and in inner element of apology and inner realization of relevant reform which should set up very good example of kind of consciousness because when this happens, it hurts not only the person who does it or the victim, it hurts each one of us who proudly claim belonging and ownership of a particularly exclusive category called MPs. So i think that inner realization and response should be most effective.
Abhishek Singhvi also said that is something which the speaker will go into and she has already made a statement. There is no question of preempting that. It will depend first and foremost on the Speaker’s preliminary view and secondly on will of that House. The Speaker that is of the other House has spoken at the moment. Let us await that.
On the question of amendment on Political donations, Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi said I think a lot is left to be desired not only in the Amendment you mentioned but in a lot of other amendments. There is an element of subterfuge, there is an element of misleading, and there is an element of playing to the gallery making very good and right and correct noises but lacking in substance. Take the example which you have given. I am asking you the question for you to reflect on – does it not legitimize donations and does it not perhaps maintain high level of anonymity and legitimacy of the money which goes into it? Nobody is clear on the nitty-gritty. Today the biggest vice is that of your anonymity – I give you cash as a Party, it is not at all clear whether if I do the same thing now under the new Law, that is not going to be any corrective step because you may be able to legitimately give much more and anonymously give into a fund which will then issue Bonds. Now there is no clarity as to whether the identity and the connection will be disclosed – None at all. And therefore, you may be legitimizing anonymous donations through the formal Bond. At the moment lot of clarification is required.
Dr. Abhishek Singhvi further said today if I give you legally Rs. 10 lakhs as a donation, it is not legal; it is an IT issue or some other issue. Today through these Bonds, you will be legitimizing what is actually illegal. That is the whole point. It should be with reform. If you make it clear Mr. X can only give by cheque and that shall the exempt and whatever you want to say. Secondly, there will be full closure of how much of it is purchased by whom and whom he donates to. Thirdly, you give all other details of transparency and identity.