Economy not in good shape, say former PM, FM
NEW DELHI: Congress came out with sharp criticism of the economy on Monday, a day ahead of the economic survey. The party said that the Indian economy was not in good shape and released a voluminous 78-page document detailing its arguments.
Former PM Manmohan Singh and former finance minister P Chidambaram said that the state of the economy was far from satisfactory, alleging that the government was “hiding behind” GDP numbers that are also being challenged. They claimed that jobs were not being created. “(That) Indian economy is not in good shape is now obvious. The IMF has projected that the growth rate of India this current fiscal will not be 7.6% but 6.6%. Several other agencies have made similar projections,” Singh said, unveiling the document “Real State of Economy 2017”. The former PM has been critical of the Modi government’s decision to ban two high-value currency notes, describing the move as loot and a scam.
Chidambaram expressed concern over the low credit growth, which he claimed is at 5%, the “lowest in several decades”. “They are hiding behind the dazzle of a number called the GDP which is being questioned. But the people of India are not dazzled by that number, people of India are asking questions — the most important question is where are the jobs?” he said. He added, “The second question is where is new capital investment? The third question is, how is business going to grow and expand and employ more people?”
Chidambaram said that from July to September 2016, only 77,000 jobs were created, out of which about 50,000 were in the government sector. “Capital formation is declining, credit growth is the lowest in several decades and yet if the Government presents tomorrow (Tuesday) a very rosy picture of economy, I think people of India are entitled to seriously question that conclusion,” he said.
Chidambaram said, “The NDA government tends to believe an exaggerated version of economy; this research document is closer to truth than what the government will say tomorrow.”
The document “candidly, truthfully” assesses the state of India’s economy, supported by hard research and data, he added. The former FM said every government must be optimistic, but optimism must stem from a realistic assessment of the situation. Saying that he hoped the government would not cut social sector spending in the
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