Gujarat Global News Network, Ahmedabad
Terming demonetization as organized loot former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said that the biggest beneficiary of this exercise was China. Due to demonetisation and GST, the country had to run for Chinese imports at the cost of Indian jobs. In 1st 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 pointed out.
“Unprecedented growth of imports by over Rs 45,000 Cr, a 23% increase in a year, can be attributed largely to demonetisation and GST,” he said. Post both the steps, the fear of tax terrorism has eroded the confidence of businesses to invest, he said.
Singh was on a one day tour to Gujarat where Assembly elections will be held in December. He addressed traders and businessmen and said that GST had become nightmare for small businesses.
He said that he spent lot of time on demonetization because it worried him that in a world where economic policy is becoming increasingly complex we are not developing a culture where policy option is critically assessed and criticisms offered are listened to take corrective actions. The leaders today only want to hear praise. “Does questioning GST and demonetization one becomes tax evader”,? he asked.
Nice sounding slogans like Skill India, Start up India are useless until backed up be effective policies on ground. About agriculture the economist said that average growth in first three years of Modi government was only 1.8 percent while ion UPA government it was 3.7 percent which we achieved in 10 years.
“Modiji has offered slogan of doubling farm income in five years which means an annual growth rate of 14 percent. I have not seen any programme that would achieve such a growth for farmers”, he quipped.
Dr .Singh accepted that there was economic slowdown during UPA-2 but questioned what happened to growth rate since NDA came to power. He said that Modiji was claiming that India will become a developed economy by 2022. Giving figures he said that per capita income of Indians was $5,000. At the lower end of developed countires we have Greece with per capita income of $25,000. To achieve this we would have to achieve a growth rate of 35 percent per year. No country has ever done, he said.
Dr. Singh praised the recent announcement of recapitalization of public sector banks and said that there should be a clear policy as to how the government wants to go about it.
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