Manmohan Singh says govt’s ‘all-round mismanagement’ slowed down economy
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said the state of the economy is deeply worrying and insisted that last quarter’s GDP growth rate of 5% signals that the country is 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 slow down, he said in a statement.
“It is particularly distressing that the manufacturing sector’s growth is tottering at 0.6%. This makes it very clear that our economy has not yet recovered from the man-made blunders of demonetisation and a hastily implemented GST,” Singh said.
Watch | ‘All-round mismanagement by govt led to slowdown’: Manmohan Singh
The former Prime Minister said domestic demand was depressed and consumption growth has hit an 18-month low. Nominal GDP growth is at a 15-year low. “There is 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.”
He said the Modi government’s policies are resulting in massive jobless growth. 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 warned.
“Rural India is in terrible shape. Farmers are not receiving adequate prices and rural incomes have declined. 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,” the former PM said.
Singh also pulled up the government over what he claimed diluting the autonomy of institutions.
“Institutions are under attack and their autonomy is being eroded. The resilience of the RBI will be tested after its record transfer of Rs. 1.76 lakh crores to the government, which claims that it does not have a plan on what it will do with this windfall.”
In addition, he said the credibility of India’s data has come under question under this government. Budget announcements and rollbacks have shaken the confidence of international investors. India has not 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.
“Our youth, farmers and farm workers, entrepreneurs and the marginalised sections deserve better. India cannot afford to continue down this path. Therefore, 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,” the former PM said.