New Delhi: An RSS affiliate on Thursday said that although it does not endorse BJP leader Yashwant Sinha’s view that the Modi government’s economic policies led to a decline in the economy, the present economic policies are “corporate-centric” and not focussed on the common man.
“As far as Yashwant Sinha’s criticism of the state of economy is concerned, we do not approve. He has said that demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) have played a ‘big role’ in the decline of the economy. Now, that’s exaggeration,” Ashwani Mahajan, the National Co-Convener of Swadeshi Jagran Manch, told IANS.
“The economy has not got ruined… the way he is saying. Of course, there is a short-term disruption in economy due to GST, but the scale of disruption is not to the extent it happened post-demonetisation,” he said.
A day after creating a political storm through a critique published in The Indian Express, which led to a debate in the country over the state of the economy, Sinha on Thursday said the economy was in a bad shape for a long time as the government had failed to analyse the effects of demonetisation and given another shock in the form of GST.
“They (demonetisation and GST) played a big role in the decline of the economy,” he said.
Mahajan said the Swadeshi Jagran Manch had supported demonestisation and it was not against GST in principle.
“We are not against GST but against its current form, because interests of small traders have not been taken care of. There are many small trades and industries which need to be kept in low tax-rate bracket. They should be given protection,” he said.
“What is happening today is that the top few are getting everything. The government’s present economic policy is corporate-centric and not focussed to the common man. GDP may go down but if the fruits of development reach the common man and employment is generated, it would be desirable. This government, to some extent, has tried in this direction but there is need for a radical change,” the Manch leader said.
Mahajan maintained that every government had focussed on increasing growth rate. “But did they not think whether employment is increasing or not? Whether equality is growing or not? Whether the lives of people are improving or not? Even the present development model of Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya is not going to achieve anything.”
Bhagwati and Panagariya served as Vice Chairman of the government think-tank NITI Aayog.
“This needs to be changed. For this we need to go to the development model of Deendayal Upadhyay, which is steeped in humanism and talks about the last men in the queue and which talks about growth with employment generation. His development model is the need of the hour,” Mahajan said.