Manmohan Singh blames Modi's 'all-round mismanagement' for economic slowdown
Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh hit out at the Narendra Modi government on Sunday amid the ongoing economic slowdown. As the last quarter's GDP growth rate slipped to 5%, the lowest in over six years, Singh blamed "all-round mismanagement" by the BJP-led government. Singh, who served as the Finance Minister in the PV Narasimha Rao Cabinet, warned that the situation is "deeply worrying".
In a video statement, Singh said, "The last quarter's GDP growth rate of 5% signals that we are in the midst of a prolonged slowdown. India has the potential to grow at a much faster rate but all-round mismanagement by the Modi government has resulted in this slowdown," He went on to describe the manufacturing sector's 0.6% growth as "particularly distressing."
Calling demonetization and a "hastily-implemented" GST "man-made blunders," Singh added that there is a depression in domestic demand and consumption growth hit an 18-month low. He said, "There's a gaping hole in tax revenues. Tax buoyancy remains elusive as businessmen, small and big, are hounded and tax terrorism continues unabated. Investor sentiments are in doldrums. These are not the foundations for economic recovery."
Singh further stated that the Modi government's policies have led to "massive job-less growth." He said, "More than 3.5 lakh jobs have been lost in the automobile sector alone. There will similarly be large scale job losses in the informal sector, hurting our most vulnerable workers." Singh then addressed rural India's "terrible shape" where farmers aren't receiving adequate prices and rural incomes have declined.
Singh said, "The low inflation rate that the Modi government likes to showcase comes at the cost of our farmers and their incomes, by inflicting misery on over 50% of India's population. Institutions are under attack and their autonomy is being eroded."
Singh said, "The resilience of the RBI will be tested after its record transfer of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore to the government, which claims that it doesn't have a plan on what it will do with this windfall." Adding that the credibility of India's data has become questionable in Modi's reign, he said, "Budget announcements and rollbacks have shaken the confidence of international investors."
The former PM went on to say, "India hasn't been able to increase its exports to take advantage of opportunities that have arisen in global trade due to geopolitical realignments. Such is the state of economic management under the Modi government." He then advised the government to ditch "vendetta politics" and "reach out to all sane voices and thinking minds" to help the economy.
Our economy has not recovered from the man made blunders of demonetisation a hastily implemented GST... I urge the govt to put aside vendetta politics reach out to all sane voices to steer our economy out of this crisis: Former PM Dr Manmohan Singh #DrSinghOnEconomicCrisis pic.twitter.com/83cBJWHay9— Congress (@INCIndia) September 1, 2019
Meanwhile, on Friday, Government data revealed that India's GDP rate dipped to 5% in the April-June quarter. On August 23, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced measures to tackle the economic slowdown. The announcement came less than two months after the FM presented her Union Budget. In another announcement on August 30, Sitharaman announced the merger of 10 major public sector banks into four entities.