‘Govt open to criticism but don’t create panic’: Key points from PM Modi’s speech
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday strongly defended his government’s management of the economy, pledging to reverse a downturn in economic growth.india Updated: Oct 05, 2017 09:37 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday addressed the inauguration of Golden Jubilee Year of the Institute of Company Secretaries (ICSI) in New Delhi, emphasising on the achievements of the government and its economic policies.
Modi hit out at critics but accepted for the first time that the economic growth had slowed.
The Prime Minister’s speech comes in the midst of a raging debate over the state of economy after a stinging attack by BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, former Union minister Arun Shourie and the opposition parties over slowdown and unemployment.
Here are the key points of Modi’s speech:
‘Open to constructive criticism but don’t create panic’
Modi on Wednesday admitted for the first time that there has been an economic slowdown but told critics not to spread negativity and promised steps to put the economy on the path of recovery.
“In the past few days the criticism that we have received, we don’t take it in a bad way. We are a sensitive government. We accept the constructive criticism with all our hearts and make sure that we consider it with modesty and work on improving the economy. The whole world is talking about India.”
“We don’t believe that all the things that critics say are wrong, but one should restrain from creating an environment of panic in the nation. We have started walking towards development of new India, new culture, new celebration and new traditions,” Modi said.
Hitting out at critics
Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacks “people who sleep well only after spreading pessimism”, days after BJP veterans Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie slammed government of economy slowdown.
“It is for these people, fall of growth in one quarter, is like the biggest dose they will ever receive,” Modi said.
He said that now is the time to recognise these people. “When the data are favourable, it is the same people who like that institute and process but the moment this data are beyond their imagination, they say the system is not right, the process is not right, people working in it are not right and just accuse people.”
Prime Minister Modi also said that before coming to any conclusion, it was important to recognise these people.
Accepting the drop in growth rate of economy
Modi said that after achieving an average growth of about 7.5% over three years, he accepted that the growth rate had come down in April-June this year, but the “the government is committed to reverse that and we are ready to take the decisions”.
“The nation’s financial stability too has to be maintained and we will keep taking steps to improve the economy,” Prime Minister Modi said.
Modi assured people that India would remain in a new league of development and said that even the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has predicted 7.7% growth in the coming quarters.
“In the past if due to structural reforms any sector needed tatkal help, the government was ready to help them, no matter what,” Prime Minister Modi said.
Prime Minister Modi also said that it has been three months and the Central Government is taking feedback for all things, including for GST. “I have asked the GST council to review the problems being faced by traders, issues in technology or filling the forms.”
Speaking about demonetisation, Prime Minister Modi said, “After demonetisation, the cash to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio has come down to 9%, which before November 8, 2016, was 12%.”
He also asserted that demonetisation will be known as the start of ‘corruption-free day’ in the Indian history, adding that this would not have been possible, if there was no honesty in the nation. “You people know more than me, as to how one has to think fifty times before giving and taking black money,” he said.
Prime Minister Modi said that more than 10% inflation has decreased and has come to down to 2.5%.
“While taking toll of all these parameters, the central government in its fiscal deficit, has brought it to 3.5% from the previous government and has decreased from 4.5%,” Modi said.
He further said that foreign investors are investing records in India, adding:“India’s foreign exchange reserve has increased from 30,000 crore dollars to more than 40,000 crore dollars.”
On economic growth
Modi said that during the previous governments there were eight instances when GDP was at or below 5.7%.
“India’s economy has also seen quarters where, don’t forget the past, the growth fell down to 0.2%, 1.5%,” PM Modi said.
He said that this kind of fall is more dangerous for the economy, because during that period, India was struggling with, high inflation higher current account deficit, and higher fiscal deficit.
“If we see two years prior to 2014, meaning if we see 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 then the average was around 6 per cent, now the GDP data of these years and the GDP data of the last three years of the previous government before that have been the same. The institute has been the same, the process has been the same and that’s why comparing it is normal,” Modi said.
On black money
“To bring back black money in foreign lands, strong black money acts were established, where, with a lot of countries, tax was strategized and in old tax agreement, we brought about a change and sat down with them to find new ways as well,” Modi said.
He further commented that insolvency and bankruptcy codes were created, and ‘Benami Sampati’ law was established, which was stuck for a long time.
“The Goods and Services Tax (GST) was applied and the bravery of implementing demonetisation was taken by this government only,” the Prime Minister stated.
The Prime Minister said that this government has worked really hard and instil honest work in the system. “And it is due to this hard work of the government that even due to minimum cash the nation is working very well,” said Modi.