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Home / Politics / Policy /  Maths does not matter, India will be a $5-trillion economy: Piyush Goyal

Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal stoked a controversy on Thursday when he said India’s decision to become a $5-trillion economy should not be viewed through calculations and maths. Maths— as he put it—did not help Albert Einstein discover gravity.

“Do not get into the calculation that you see on television. If you are looking at a $5-trillion economy, then you have to grow at 12%, but today it is 6-7%. Do not get into the maths... those maths never helped Einstein discover gravity. If he had only gone by the structured formula and what was past knowledge, I do not think there would have been any innovation in this world," the Union minister told a meeting of the Board of Trade.

Goyal later clarified his comments and blamed “some friends" for creating what he called a mischievous narrative.

“The comment that I made had a certain context. Unfortunately, some friends have sought to remove the context, pick up one line and create a very mischievous narrative. One line is being misinterpreted," he added.

Nevertheless, the remark led to a political slugfest between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress and other Opposition parties.

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh tweeted: “Yes, Mr. Minister. Einstein did not need maths to discover gravity since Newton already had. Now wait for HRD minister to say that long before Newton our ancients knew all about gravity (or has he already?) With such ministers, only God can Fix The Economy."

Goyal’s comments came on a day the Congress announced plans for a nationwide campaign blaming the government for the economic slowdown.

The social media handle of the Congress on Twitter said: “Einstein did not require maths to discover gravity, but Sir Isaac Newton did. FYI, maths is also required to Fix The Economy."

Party leaders will hit a 10-day door-to-door campaign between 15 and 25 October.

“The govt shouldn’t wait for an apple to fall on its head before it realises that the Math about the economy is all bad. It doesn’t even need an Einstein (due apologies to Newton) to tell us that. Instead of focusing on distant dreams, minister would do well to focus on reality," tweeted Sitaram Yechury, the general secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM.

PTI contributed to this story.

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