‘Nyay will restart economy that has come to a stop today’: Manmohan Singh
Comparing NYAY to UPA’s rural job guarantee scheme, MGNREGS, Singh said: “The Congress party is committed to fiscal discipline.”Updated: May 02, 2019, 14:20 IST
At 86, Manmohan Singh is ready to hit the campaign trail yet again for the general elections and the Congress wants to tap him to pitch its big ticket Nyay scheme. Unlike critics who say it is financially unviable, Singh claims the scheme will in fact boost the economy.
“NYAY will help restart the economic engine that has come to a stop today. Money in the hands of the needy will stimulate demand in the economy which will lead to increased economic activity and job creation,” said the economist-turned-politician. Singh has been very critical of the Modi government’s policies and told HT that the rhetoric of national security is only a ruse to hide the government’s failure to address economic and agricultural issues.
“In past 70 years, a government in power never had to hide behind the valour of our Armed Forces. Such attempts to politicize our forces are shameful and unacceptable. All this is being done to draw the attention away from unpardonable failures of Modi government on the economic front, on jobs, on rural distress, on MSMEs and informal sector,” he said.
Comparing NYAY to UPA’s rural job guarantee scheme, MGNREGS, Singh said: “The Congress party is committed to fiscal discipline. NYAY scheme will cost between 1.2% - 1.5% of GDP at its peak. Our nearly $3 trillion economy has the fiscal capacity to absorb this expenditure. We are committed to not taxing the middle class to finance NYAY. The economic stimulus that NYAY will provide will further jumpstart the economy.”
The former prime minister also spoke about tweaking the GST regime. “The GST 2.0 regime will be based on a single, moderate, standard rate of tax on all goods and services instead of multiple taxes, as is being implemented by this government. The rate will be revenue neutral to the current indirect tax revenues of the central and state governments and will take note of the potential of GST 2.0 to boost their tax revenues. The GST implemented by the Congress party will be easy to administer, easy to understand by the taxpayer, and easy to comply with,” Singh said.