Modi Govt, punishes people, says Manmohan Singh citing economic policies


NEW DELHI, MAY 7: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chose to take on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on a turf where he is considered an expert – economics. Addressing a press conference in Bengaluru on Monday, the 85-year-old Congress leader raised issues related to farmers and the nation’s economic growth.
Stating that each of the crisis around the economy was “entirely avoidable”, Singh rebuked the Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of stifling dissent when deficiencies were pointed out instead of addressing the challenges.
“The growth rate under NDA is lower than UPA’s 7.8% rate despite favourable global conditions and changes in methodology which paints a rosier picture than reality,” said Singh in poll-bound Karnataka where a 3-way contest between the ruling Congress, the BJP and the Janata Dal (Secular) is being watched intently by the political pundits and the people.
Calling demonetisation and GST “blunders” by the Modi Government, Singh said that the 2 decisions have hurt the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Sector (MSME) and resulted in the “loss of tens and thousands of jobs”.
“The share of exports in the GDP has plunged to a 14 year low, this at a time when the global economy is reviving and even countries such as Vietnam have grown substantially in exports,” he said.
Pointing at lower international crude oil prices, Singh said that the Modi Government chose to levy excessive excise taxes which have pushed petrol and diesel prices in India to an historic high.
“Instead of passing on the benefits to the people, the Modi Government punishes them,” accused Singh adding that the Government has earned Rs 10 lakh crore from raised oil prices.
Singh, who was Finance Minister during the economic liberalisation period of the 1990s, said that people’s trust in the banking system is slowly eroding because of Modi Government’s economic mismanagement.
He also accused the PM of not recognising previous Congress Government’s achievements such as RTE, Green Revolution, liberalisation and a host of other developmental schemes.
“The PM forgets to mention that the policies of UPA I and II led to the lifting of 114 million people above the poverty line during the period from 2004 to 2014,” he said.
“Today, our farmers are forced to face a crisis because of the NDA Government,” he said stating that the Government’s announcement of doubling farmer’s income by 2022 is wishful thinking.
He also praised Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for providing “a dynamic and progressive leadership to Karnataka”.
“He has dealt with the drought effectively and provided timely assistance to farmers. We hope PM Modi will learn and implement development lessons from the State,” he said.
Voting will be held in Karnataka on May 12 and counting will be held on May 15. (Courtesy: TS)