Former prime minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi | Shahbaz Khan | PTI File Photo
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi | Shahbaz Khan | PTI
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New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday broke his silence on the state of the economy calling it “deeply worrying”.

Blaming the Modi government for “all-round mismanagement”, Singh, in a video statement, said, “The state of the economy today is deeply worrying. The last quarter’s GDP growth rate of 5 per cent signals that we are in the midst of a prolonged slowdown.”

“It is particularly distressing that the manufacturing sector’s growth is tottering at 0.6 per cent,” he added.

This made it amply clear the economy has not recovered from the “man-made blunders of demonetisation and a hastily implemented GST,” Singh a veteran economist himself, said.

He said that the investor sentiments are low, tax terrorism is continuing unabated, domestic demand is depressed, consumption growth is at an 18-month low, the nominal GDP growth at a 15 year low, and that there is a gaping hole in tax revenues.

Singh’s statements come just two months after he met finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman ahead of the first budget of the new government.

Singh targets Modi govt

The former prime minister targetted the Modi government for its handling of the economy.

“The Modi government’s policies are resulting in massive job-less growth. More than 3.5 lakh jobs have been lost in the automobile sector alone,” he said. “There will similarly be largescale job losses in the informal sector, hurting our most vulnerable workers.”

While the Modi government boasts about a low inflation rate, it comes at the cost of the country’s farmers and their incomes, by inflicting misery on over 50 per cent of India’s population, Singh said.

He also weighed in on the debate over the shrinking autonomy of institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under the Modi government. “Institutions are under attack and their autonomy is being eroded,” he said.

He also questioned the credibility of India’s data under this government.

“Our youth, farmers and farm workers, entrepreneurs and the marginalised sections deserve better. India cannot afford to continue down this path,” Singh said concluding his four-minute video address. “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.”

Full statement by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

The state of the economy today is deeply worrying. 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 slow down.

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.

Domestic demand is depressed and consumption growth is at 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.

The Modi government’s policies are resulting in massive job-less 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.

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 per cent of India’s population.

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, 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.

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10 Comments Share Your Views

10 COMMENTS

  1. This man seems to have forgotten that under him and Self proclaimed financial expert Chidambaram , in 2012 the GDP growth was below 5%…

    • But government is headed by a ‘socialist’, who has no interest in economic reforms and wants the government’s finger in every pie. On this, opposition and government are on the same page.

  2. The budget presented by Ms Sitharaman was bad and she had to admit as much when she was forced to roll back some of her decisions.
    Economics has been Modi govt’s weakest suite.
    At the same time, experts also realize that some of the steps taken by Dr Singh’s govt is also responsible for the current situation. Banks are stressed due to the eventually bad loans given during 2008-2012 in the aftermath of global crises.

  3. If that is what you suggest that forget the corrupt then almost all of Congress Party will go scot free after pocketing billions of I’ll gotten wealth.

    • Please don’t have the attitude of ” holier than thou” . Why did Govt amend foreign contribution rules to political parties giving amnesty to recipients before A certain cut off date. Why the contributor to Electotal Bond enjoy Total Privacy. Why Govt keeps on buying military hardware from American and Israelie Multinationals without Proper tendering process. Why Govt is selective when probing undesired and wasteful procurement of airliners by Air India. If, Govt has courage probe Boeing for unfair business practices. We Indians, have to live like this for another half a century or so till Country automatically get rid of Pseudo – Nationalists, regressive political leadership , Majority throttling minority weather on the basis of Religion , Caste , Gender and Sexual Orientation. India is certain to emerge from present chaos and prosper .

      • You do realise that homosexuality was decriminalised under the present government along with protection to the most oppressed minority Viz. women who could be divorced just by uttering 3 syllables. Even if one is against the present government, it should be based on it’s follies not fake grievances.

  4. When a Govt and citizens fail to reap benefits of Fall in cruide prices , it is certainly indication of Miss management , Miss management and Miss management. They can no longer blame Nehru Gandhi. It is better they understand why 6 of 7 selected economists left them. Admit that Economics is not politics where bundle of lies provide someone traction for ever. The GDP figures they provided after continued window dressing tell the real story.

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