Former prime minister Manmohan Singh was speaking in Gujarat today said the “twin blow” of demonetisation and the GST was a “complete disaster” for the country’s economy and chided the Modi government for not having learnt “any lessons” from what he called the “monumental blunder.” Escalating the Congress offensive against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the eve of the first anniversary of the ban of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes, Singh also tore into the government over the ambitious bullet train project, calling it an “exercise in vanity.” India’s first high speed rail project will link Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
Here are the 10 things Former prime minister Manmohan Singh said today in Gujarat
He said that the impact of demonetisation on the informal economy was much worse and led to job losses citing the example of the handlooms which were closed in Surat and other districts.
Calling demonetisation an “organised loot and plunder”, Singh said that demonetisation led to an unprecedented growth in imports.
Singh termed the implementation of GST as “badly designed, hastily implemented, and a complete disaster and monumental blunder”. Calling the present form of the GST “a great departure from our vision”, Singh said it has transformed into a “complicated mess, multiple slabs along with additional cess”.
Jobs have suffered because of the two policies. “We had to run for Chinese imports at the cost of Indian jobs. In the first half of 2016-17, India’s imports from China stood at Rs 1. 96 lakh crore. In 2017-18, it increased to Rs 2.41 lakh crore,” he said.
“Unprecedented growth of imports by over Rs 45,000 crore, a 23% increase in a year, can be attributed largely to demonetisation and GST,” the former Prime Minister said.
More than 99 percent of the demonetised currency came back into the banking system has punctured the government’s claims
Instead of providing relief, as I had requested in Parliament, to the poor and marginalised, farmers, traders, and the small and medium businesses, who suffered the brunt of demonetisation, the government chose to inflict on them a badly designed and hastily implemented GST, he further added
The bullet train project, launched with much fanfare, is sadly an exercise in vanity and will not benefit either 6.5 crore Gujaratis or the nation, Singh said.
He also said Rs 88,000 crore through a soft loan may seem like easy money, but it still needs to be repaid to the Japanese. Gujarati entrepreneurs know very well that if a deal is too good to be true, it probably is not
As you know, the growth in private investment is at a 25-year low. This is terrible for India’s economy.