Unemployment Rate High Due to 2016 Demonetisation: Ex-PM Manmohan

The former PM attributed India’s growing unemployment to the Centre’s 2016 Demonetisation decision. 

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Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took shots at the Narendra Modi government on Tuesday.
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Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh took shots at the Narendra Modi government on Tuesday, 2 March, over rising unemployment in the country, attributing it to the Centre’s 2016 demonetisation decision.

Dr Singh said, “Unemployment is high and the informal sector is in shambles, a crisis precipitated by the ill-considered demonetisation decision taken in 2016," as per PTI.

Dr Singh was speaking at the inauguration of a virtual summit organised by the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Development Studies – a Congress ideology aligned, economic think tank in Kerala.

A framework to develop Kerala, known as the Vision Document was launched on Tuesday at the summit, added the report.

This comes ahead of the upcoming state Assembly polls to be held in one phase on 6 April.

Dr Singh added that the temporary measures taken up by the Reserve Bank of India and the Centre cannot overlook the looming credit crisis, especially which could affect the small and medium sector, added the report.

The veteran Congress leader reiterated that finances of many states, including Kerala are in disarray over excessive borrowing, that creates heavy burden on future budgets.

Dr Singh also criticised the Centre for not consulting with the states by saying, “Federalism and regular consultation with states, which was the cornerstone of India’s economic and political philosophy as enshrined in the Constitution, no longer finds favour with the present Central government,” quoted the report.

‘Kerala’s Fragile Global Interface’

Dr Singh brought up Kerala’s economy, adding that the global interface of the state has become more fragile and the tourism industry has been badly hit due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kerala is known for its focus on health and education, added the former Prime Minister, noting that this has helped the state make the most of work opportunities pan-India and around the world, leading to stream of foreign remittances, which according to Dr Singh has led to a boom in the real estate sector, as well as growth in the tourism and IT sector, according to the report.

Dr Singh ended his speech expressing solidarity with the United Democratic Front (UDF), calling the party’s commitment to planned economic growth, “a beacon of hope” for the country.

Born in 1932, Manmohan Singh served as finance minister in the Narasimha Rao government of the 1990s, and was one of the key leaders behind India's liberalisation reforms, before becoming the PM in 2004.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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