New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seldom speaks but makes a point whenever he chooses to do so. On Friday, he lashed out at the government on demonetisation and jobs data and said the state of affairs in the country was a powerful indictment of the BJP-led government.
Joining in the two-pronged attack at the same gathering was Kapil Sibal, who targeted the note ban, saying: “This great leader gave us demonetisation because of which we lost 1.5% of the GDP. In any other country, he would have to resign. Here was a man with majority in Parliament and what has he done for four years in terms of economic growth and liberalisation?”
The comments by the two leaders came as petrol and diesel went through the roof. In Mumbai, a litre of petrol was being sold on Friday at Rs 87.39 and given the spurt in prices, it is a matter of time before it crosses the 90-mark. Questioning the growth rate, Sibal said, “He [Modi] had charged that because of policy paralysis, we (the UPA) couldn’t take India forward. But this policy paralysis brought 8.2% GDP, which has never happened in the history of this country. That was the result of policy paralysis. I assume that there is no policy paralysis today, [then] where is the GDP?”
On the number of jobs created under the current dispensation, Manmohan Singh said the numbers put out by government were questionable. “People are not impressed with the figures that are being put out by the Modi government,” he said. He also accused the government of “bad implementation” of the Goods and Services Tax. “Programmes like Make in India and Stand up India are yet to make a meaningful impact on industrial production growth. Small and marginal enterprises are yet to derive significant benefit from the ease of doing business schemes. The hasty implementation of demonetisation and GST has hurt enterprises.”