No Immediate Recovery in Sight Post GST, Note Ban: Manmohan Singh

“What have the people of India gained from this adventure?” Manmohan Singh asked.

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File photo of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. 

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 17 November, Friday claimed the country's economy slowed down due to "hasty" implementation of the Goods and Services Tax soon after demonetisation by the NDA government, and said he did not see "any immediate recovery in sight".

Addressing a public meeting organised by the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), Singh lashed out at the Narendra Modi-led government's policies and described the demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes in November last year as "a great, historic blunder".

He said the BJP government imposed fresh "hardships" on the people by "hastily" introducing GST in July this year.

What is the net impact of demonetisation and hasty implementation of GST? It led to a slowdown of our economic growth.
Manmohan Singh

Singh said the GDP growth rate came down from 7.2 percent in 2015-16 to 5.7 percent in the first quarter of 2017-18, and small industries and traders were badly hit.

I don’t see any immediate recovery in sight.

He said GST was an idea which had the support of the Congress party "but we would have implemented it after due care and adequate preparation... Our aim was one country, one tax structure."

Referring to demonetisation, Singh said Modi had stated that this decision was meant to unearth blackmoney, curb terrorism and to check the flow of fake currency from Pakistan.

But what have the people of India gained from this adventure except to be the recipient of fresh hardships. At least one hundred persons died standing in queues outside the banks.

The withdrawal of 86 percent of currency imposed severe hardships on the farmers and small industries and traders.

"Demonetisation turned out to be a great historic blunder," he said.

The BJP-led government at the Centre which came to power with "tall promises, failed in implementing" them, he charged.

Singh said during the election campaign Modi had promised the people he would bring back all the black money hoarded overseas.

Now three-and-a-half years have passed and the people of India ask what has the Indian citizen gained from the BJP rule?
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