Responding to recent reports on India’s economic slowdown, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the state of economy currently is “deeply worrying”.
In a video statement, posted on the official Twitter handle of Congress, he said that India has the potential to grow at a much faster rate, but all-round “mismanagement” by the Narendra Modi-led government has resulted in a slowdown.
“The state of the economy today is deeply worrying. The last quarter’s GDP growth rate of 5 percent signals that we are in the midst of a prolonged slowdown. India has the potential to grow at a much faster rate, but all around mismanagement by Modi government has resulted in this slowdown.”Manmohan Singh, former prime minister
He stated that India cannot afford to continue down this path.
“I urge the government to put aside vendetta politics and reach out to all sane voices and thinking minds to steer our economy out of this man-made crisis,” he said.
‘Not Recovered From Man-Made Blunders of Demonetisation & Hastily Implemented GST’
Singh attributed the current state of economy to the inefficient implementation of GST and Demonetisation, which were considered as one of the major steps taken by the Modi government during their first term.
“It is particularly distressing that the manufacturing sector’s growth is tottering at 0.6 percent. This makes it very clear that our economy has not yet recovered from the man-made blunders of demonetisation and a hastily implemented GST,” he said.
He also addressed issues like tax terrorism, job loss and unemployment, farmer crisis and the recent transfer of Rs 1.76 lakh crore from the RBI to the government. “The institutions are under attack and their autonomy is being eroded,” he added.
On RBI’s Decision to Transfer Excess Reserve to Government
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday, 26 August, decided to transfer Rs 1.76 lakh crore in dividend and surplus reserve to the government.
Singh said that the resilience of the reserve bank will be tested after the transfer.
“The resilience of the reserve bank will be tested after its record transfer of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the government, which claims it does not have a plan on what it will do with the windfall.”
He said in addition the credibility of India’s data has come under question under this government.
‘Tax Terrorism Continues Unabated’
The term tax terrorism has grabbed many headlines recently, specially among businessmen. Singh said that it continues to hound small and big businessmen.
He further added that this is not the foundation of economic recovery.
‘Modi Govt Policies Caused Massive Jobless Growth’
Singh accused the policies of the Modi government for the “massive jobless growth”
“More than 3.5 lakh have been lost in automobile sector alone. Similarly, large scale job losses in the informal sector hurting our most vulnerable workers.”
He said that rural india is in terrible shape and the farmers are not receiving adequate prices, while the rural income has declined.
“The low inflation rate, that the Modi government likes to showcase, comes at the cost of our farmers,” Singh said.
‘Budget Announcement and Rollbacks’
The former prime minister blamed the budget announcement and recent rollbacks made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for shaking the confidence of the international investors.
“Budget announcement and rollbacks have shaken the confidence of international investors,” he said.
He added that India has failed to increase “the exports to take advantage of opportunities that has risen in global trade due to geo political realignment.”
‘Will Take Manmohan’s Statement’
Responding to former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s criticism that the government should consult “sane voices” on Indian economy, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that she will “take his statement” on it.
“Is Dr Manmohan Singh saying that 'instead of indulging in political vendetta they should consult sane voices?' Has he said that? All right, thank you, I will take his statement on it. That is my answer.”