New Delhi, Sep 1: Former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Sunday lashed out at Narendra Modi-led Union government for the country's economic situation and said that "the state of the economy today is deeply worrying".
"The last quarter’s GDP growth rate of five 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 round mismanagement by the Modi government has resulted in this slowdown", Dr Singh said a video statement.
The former PM's criticism came two days after the government stated that the growth in India's gross domestic product (GDP) was five percent in the first quarter of current financial year, 2019-20, compared with 5.8 per cent in the previous financial year. "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 hastily implemented GST", Dr Singh added.
He also urged 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" and added that "our youth, farmers and farm workers, entrepreneurs and the marginalised sections deserve better. India cannot afford to continue down this path".
The veteran Congress leader also pointed out that domestic demand is depressed and consumption growth is at an 18 month low.
"Nominal GDP growth is at a 15 years 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 added.
Taking on further the government, Dr Singh said that the Modi government’s policies are resulting in massive job-less growth and added "more than 3.5 lakh jobs have been lost in the automobile sector alone. There will similarly be large scale job loses in the informal sector, hurting our most vulnerable workers".
Dr Singh also said that rural India is in terrible shape and 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 percent of India’s population", he charged.
Referring to the latest incident that the Reserve Bank of India handed over a 1.76 lakh crore from its reserves, Dr Singh criticised that 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", he said.
He also said that the credibility of India’s data has come under question under Modi 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 that have arisen in global trade due to geopolitical realignments", he said. "Such is the state of economic management under the Modi government", he criticised. (UNI)